Better Queensway, Southend
- Capital Investment - Getting Building Fund, Essex, Southend & Thurrock, More than £2m
Design in progress
Expected completion date
Better Queensway is an estate and town centre renewal project, seeking to transform a 5.2-hectare site to the north of Southend town centre. The project will include phased demolition of existing residential and commercial units, including four tower blocks and redevelopment to provide up to 1,669 dwellings and 7,945 sqm of commercial space made up of retail, office, and community and leisure space. The project will also involve significant infrastructure and engineering work to provide a new four lane carriageway with footpath, cycle and bus facilities, which will remedy the sites severance with the High Street, provide a greater developable area, reduce pollution and improve connectivity, including important through traffic routes to the seafront.
Southend Borough Council has been successful in securing £15m of funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to make the necessary highway improvement works and has entered into a joint venture with Swan Housing Association as development partner. This approach will employ a ‘whole-place’ approach to regeneration, addressing the inefficiently planned estate and poor quality of the existing 441 housing units on site, as well as enhancing the wider area and improving access to multiple development sites.
Getting Building Funding is required for an unforeseen capital sum to upgrade local electrical networks to provide the needed capacity to meet new government guidelines on energy use in new homes and to enable sufficient resilience in the local grid to provide the required level of electrical vehicle charging to future proof the town centre.
The project was considered by Accountability Board on 20th November 2020 and the decision was made to approve the award of £4.2m GBF funding to this project, subject to the following funding condition being met:
- Provision of written confirmation by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council that planning permission has been granted by 31st March 2021.
If this funding condition is not met, the Accountability Board will be asked to agree that the GBF funding be reallocated to the next project on the GBF pipeline at the first Board meeting of 2021/22. It was confirmed at the 2 July 2021 Accountability Board meeting that this condition has now been met.
At the 19 November 2021 Accountability Board meeting it was agreed that the project met the conditions and criteria for the retention of GBF funding beyond the 31 March 2022 for a maximum period of 6 months. This is subject to Strategic Board. endorsement at its meeting in December 2021.
At the 25 November 2022 Accountability Board meeting an update report was presented to the Board due to the project being identified as high risk. The Board agreed that a further update on the project which confirms the status of the merger between Swan Housing and Sanctuary Housing Association, provides an update on project delivery and provides assurances regarding the ongoing delivery of the wider project should be provided at the March 2023 Board meeting.
An update on the project was provided to the Accountability Board at the 13 April 2023 meeting (note the March 2023 meeting having been postponed). Further, at the 13 April 2023 Accountability Board meeting it was agreed that GBF can be retained against the project until 30 June 2023.
|Commercial space unlocked (sq m)||445|
£85m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock
The Getting Building Fund focuses on projects that can progress quickly and that will stimulate and better integrate economies in some of the most economically impacted and COVID-affected parts of the South East.
£85m of Getting Building Fund investment has been secured, enabling delivery of 34 projects across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.