The Thames Estuary Production Corridor is a significant new programme 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, creating new jobs, developing local talent and supporting the rapid growth of the creative economy.
The bold industrial vision 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).
Since release of the vision, the Thames Estuary Production Corridor has seen momentous development and investment.
Building on the area’s manufacturing legacy, this ambitious programme is developing a series of large scale, state-of-the-art creative and cultural production centres across the Estuary, creating opportunities for strategic skills programmes and putting local talent at its heart.
Research showed that the Thames Estuary Production Corridor 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.
The potential of the Thames Estuary Production Corridor has already unlocked over £4.6million investment from central government into the Estuary, including £4.3 million for the bold Creative Estuary programme using culture as the catalyst for growth.
The Thames Estuary Production Corridor will now play a crucial role in London and the South East’s social and economic recovery after COVID-19. It 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.
Published in 2020, the Thames Estuary Production Corridor report sets out a clear case for investment in the programme and provides a strategy for delivery by the Thames Estuary Production Corridor Partners.
The report publication marked 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.
Over 200 partners have already 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.
Engagement is ongoing, with this report intended as a starting point for further dialogue, partnership working and collective action.
The executive summary report, From Vision to Action, summarises how the Thames Estuary Production Corridor will unlock and maximise the potential of the area
The Thames Estuary Production Corridor was identified by the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission report as a priority initiative in their vision to deliver growth in the Estuary.
In July 2020, the new Thames Estuary Growth Board announced its support to the Thames Estuary Production Corridor in its first action plan, ‘The Green Blue’, recognising the programme as a key part of the Estuary’s future.
Where is the Thames Estuary Production Corridor?
Stretching from London to the coastlines of Essex and Kent, the Thames Estuary area extends from East London to Margate on the South bank of the Thames to Southend on the North bank. It includes seven East London Boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Havering, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets.
“Our vision for the world’s largest creative production corridor is bold. It will position London and the South East as a world leader for the creative industries on a scale never seen before, creating a landmark corridor along the Estuary, powering skills opportunities and new jobs.”
“The creative industries are one of the South East’s biggest success stories. As the UK competes on the world stage, we must harness the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the creative sector – enabling its growth and extending its global reach. Our vision is that the Thames Estuary Production Corridor becomes a centre of excellence, providing great links with London, whilst building a unique, self-sustaining, infrastructure to support creative businesses in a way that has not been seen before.”
The Thames Estuary Production Corridor is a unique cross-boundary partnership, established by the Mayor of London and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
It 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, represented by Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and Opportunity South Essex.
The Thames Estuary Production Corridor and projects that form part of its umbrella, like Creative Estuary, are working with a network of higher and further education institutions, including University of the Arts London, Kent and Essex Universities, and cultural organisations in the Estuary, including Metal and Cement Fields.
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 is supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Thames Estuary Growth Board and Envoy.