Next steps for the Thames Estuary: Maximising economic growth and opportunities

Director Lorraine Cox recently had the honour of speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport forum. Joining her was Luciana Ciubotariu, Head of Trade and Investment at Thames Freeport and Chris McMahon Programme Services Director, Lower Thames Crossing. They delved into the next steps for the Thames Estuary, focusing on the immense potential it holds for economic growth and opportunities.

The panel discussed various aspects related to the Estuary, including its potential in the green economy. Promising to promote the creative economy, there is an opportunity to invest in skills and jobs across the Thames, and generate additional social and economic benefits for riverside communities.

This platform provided an opportunity to showcase the burgeoning ambitions and ongoing achievements of Creative Estuary and the wider creative and cultural industries. It was a chance to engage with a diverse audience from various sectors, including Infrastructure and Development, and highlight the tremendous impact that the creative and cultural sectors can have on our economy.

A government report published in 2024 estimated that the creative industries generated £126bn of gross economic value in 2022 and employed around 2.4 million people. Figures such as these reaffirm the tremendous value that lies within the creative and cultural sectors and bolsters our steadfast dedication to driving economic growth and fostering employment opportunities.

Creative Estuary is paving the way forward for sustainable growth across the Estuary. With the support of local and national government, and Arts Council England, we have been successful in bringing underused buildings into creative use and promoting jobs and learning opportunities which support young people to join the Creative & Cultural Industries. We also work to liaise between communities, local authorities, and the creative sector to bring about transformative change through art and culture.

In conclusion, this panel provided an opportunity to share the importance of collaborating and including the creative and cultural industries in the development of the Thames Estuary. By doing so, it brings significant benefits to the local community. This approach not only contributes to economic growth but also has a positive impact on the lives of individuals in the area. By recognising and harnessing the potential of creativity and culture, we can work towards creating a thriving and prosperous Thames Estuary that benefits everyone.

Westminster Forum Projects