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A momentous day for the Thames Estuary

Map of Creative Places Network for the Thames Estuary Production Corridor
Click to enlarge

South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN) – a working group of the South East LEP is excited to announce a step forward in its work with the Greater London Authority (GLS) to support the development of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor (TEPC).   

The Thames Estuary Production Corridor will contribute to longer-term growth through forward-thinking investment in culture and the creative industries, helping create thousands of jobs in a time of need, building world-class cultural infrastructure and developing local skills opportunities that will be crucial to deliver sustainable and equitable growth. 

A STEP FORWARD

‘A case for investment in the Thames Estuary Production Corridor to build back better’ – has today been published. The report provides the strategy to unlock and maximise the creative potential of the programme. 

It marks the culmination of a year-long programme of activity in 2018-2019 which included consultation with partners and stakeholders and granular research into baseline conditions across the Estuary. 

The TEPC programme has already unlocked £4.6million investment from Government into the Estuary, including £4.3 million for Creative Estuary. 

 The corridor will play a crucial role in London and the South East’s social and economic recovery after COVID-19.  Our report shows TEPC has the potential to create 50,000 jobs and generate £3.7bn for the UK economy, becoming the UK’s largest concentration of creative production.   

To date, over 200 partners have engaged in discussions regarding the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, including local workspace providers, creative and cultural bodies and organisations, developers, higher and further education institutions, sector representatives, and public sector representatives from local authorities up to central government.  

THAMES ESTUARY GROWTH BOARD AND ENVOY

  • The Thames Estuary Production Corridor Partners are delighted to announce the support of the Thames Estuary Growth Board and Envoy. We look forward to working closely with the Thames Estuary Growth Board and Envoy to develop our ambitious programme for culture and good growth in the Estuary. 
  • Now more than ever it is critical that the full vision and potential of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor is realised, through the commitment, support and cross-boundary collaboration of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor Partners, the new Thames Estuary Growth Board and Envoy.

KEY PROJECTS

List of Thames Estuary Production Corridor projects
Thames Estuary Production Corridor project list: Click to enlarge
  • The Thames Estuary Production Corridor initiative and projects that form part of its umbrella, like Creative Estuary (the DCMS’s Cultural Development Fund programme), are putting in place the strategies that will build jobs and broader economic and social success for the long term.
  • Refer to our TEPC map to see the full network of creative places and key cultural production assets and projects across East London, South Essex and the North Kent Coast.

Sarah Dance, South East LEP Deputy Chair and Co- Chair of the South East Creative Economy Network said:

“The Corridor is a network of creatives and connected places, home to many exciting projects. The case for investment marks a step forward in our work and we are particularly delighted that this is supported by the Thames Estuary Growth Board and Envoy.

This is a unique opportunity to plan growth which recognises our existing assets and ambitious programme for culture and good growth in the Estuary.  Everyone has a role to play and this will be crucial in supporting the South East’s creative network to recover post COVID-19 and beyond. “

WHAT’S NEXT

The delivery approach for the Thames Estuary Production Corridor will build on the significant momentum which has been achieved over the past two years.  

This report sets out a clear case for investment in the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, and an action plan – the strategy for delivery.  

The Thames Estuary Production Corridor Partners Board will lead the vision and action plan delivery, working with the Thames Estuary Growth Board and Envoy. 

It is now time for local, regional, and national partners (both public and private) to work together unlock and maximise the potential of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor.

BACKGROUND

  • Since release of the vision in 2017, the Thames Estuary Production Corridor has seen momentous development and investment.  
  • The vision and potential of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor has unlocked over £4.6million investment from Government into the Estuary, including £4.3 million for the bold Creative Estuary programme using culture as the catalyst for growth. 
  • This initial investment from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government demonstrates confidence in the opportunity to support the growth of the UK’s creative economy. 
  • Despite the devastating impacts of the pandemic, the cultural and creative industries will be integral to accelerating the UK’s economic and social recovery. Prior to COVID-19, the UK’s creative economy grew five times faster than the economy at large, with jobs being created three times as fast.  
  • The Thames Estuary Production Corridor will contribute to longer-term growth through forward-thinking investment in culture and the creative industries, helping create thousands of jobs in a time of need, building world-class cultural infrastructure and developing local skills opportunities that will be crucial to deliver sustainable and equitable growth.  
  • Importantly, it will help to create and sustain places where people want to live, work and play. 

WHAT IS THE THAMES ESTUARY PRODUCTION CORRIDOR?

  • The Thames Estuary Production Corridor is a significant new industrial strategy to unite East London, the North Kent Coast and South Essex to create a world-class centre for creative and cultural production: leading global innovation, developing talent and cultivating world changing ideas. 
  • It was launched by the Mayor of London in 2017 in partnership with the London Economic Action Partnership, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (South East LEP) and the South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN). 
  • The Thames Estuary Production Corridor marks a strong commitment to cross-boundary collaboration with partners in the South East closely working together through the Thames Estuary Production Corridor Partners Board.  
  • The unique partnership includes the GLA, the Royal Docks Team, the seven East London boroughs that are part of the Thames Estuary region, the South East Creative Economy Network and South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Kent and Essex County Councils, and eleven local authority areas, including represented by Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and Opportunity South Essex. 
  • It is a globally significant programme, the first of a new generation of collaborative and transformational projects in the Thames Estuary, presenting a shared economic and social identity across 18 local authority areas. 
  • The Thames Estuary Production Corridor has the potential to double the size of the sector across the Estuary, supporting the delivery of more than 50,000 new jobs and creating additional GVA of over £3.7bn per annum.

CREATIVE ESTUARY

Creative Estuary is driving forward the creative and economic evolution of this unique region, unlocking its potential as an international production hub and an inspiring place to work for a new generation of creative talent. 

Creative Estuary are developing a shared narrative for the Thames Estuary, embedding it within new commissions, new creative spaces, new jobs, new collaborations and a new cultural identity. 

Creative Estuary programme will transform the visibility, identity and future of the area’s creative production infrastructure, supporting more than 400 new jobs, delivering new skills, qualifications and apprenticeships for 300 people.