Thames Estuary Development Conference

16 November 2022

The Thames Estuary Development conference was a hybrid all-day event where the myriad of exciting opportunities in the UK’s number one government-backed growth opportunity: the Thames Estuary, were discussed.

Below are some highlights.

Event playback


World Class Creative and Cultural Enterprises


We worked with the  Built Environment Networking Ltd team to develop a fantastic session on the world-class creative and cultural enterprises in the region. Topics included skills and workforce development, climate and circular economy, spaces for production, and community and placemaking.

Our panel consisted of:

Creative Estuary Chair, Thames Estuary Production Corridor Co-chair and South East LEP Deputy Chair, Sarah Dance
As chair of our session,  Sarah told us about the three exciting new accelerator projects in Tower Hamlets, Kent and Basildon as well as the huge achievements of our Co-Commission programme and Re:Generation 2031 programme.

Greater London Authority’s Joseph Henry
Joseph is the Capital Development Manager for Culture & Creative Industries at the Greater London Authority. He is a designer, urbanist whose practice involves working closely with institutions to be more progressive in how they shape our urban environment.

Joseph stated that we can’t keep using construction methods from the 1970’s for the future we need. And that while investment is very important, these projects need regular investment in a long-term strategic way to ensure creative industries flourish.

Elvis and Kresse’s Kresse Wesling CBE
Kresse Wesling CBE is Co-Founder and Director of ethical luxury fashion brand Elvis & Kresse and Thames Estuary Visionary. Elvis & Kresse, a Certified B Corporation, has been rescuing raw materials, transforming them into luxury lifestyle accessories, and donating 50% of profits back to charities since 2005.

Kresse told us about the incredible work Elvis & Kresse are doing and how early decisions to use reclaimed materials and charity donations shaped the entire future of their business – the climate emergency is central to every decision they make. She also spoke about the importance of the quality of the space you work in to promote creativity across every aspect of creative industries.

Blossom Young from Poplar HARCA
Blossom Young is Head of Operations of Poplar HARCA, who are investing heavily in the Thames Estuary and are mid-way through the 1,000 home Aberfeldy Estate project.

Blossom spoke to us about the organisation, where she pointed out that infrastructure is of course important, but also the unique nature and characteristics of the place. Opportunities have been created because of the strong heritage of fashion in the area but also because residents wanted to continue this tradition of fashion manufacturing by passing on these skills to the next generation.

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s Harry Zimmerman
Harry is currently undertaking a Re:Generation 2031 placement with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. A Creative Estuary initiative, Re:Generation 2031 is an innovative approach to developing the creative skills of young people aged 16 to 25 years in North Kent and South Essex.

Harry, spoke about Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s work in creating opportunities for local residents to shape the spaces they want in order to develop a sense of community and grow their ambitions, and Ebbsfleet’s role in enabling this through infrastructure.

'The creative and cultural sector will be the new engine for productivity in the Thames Estuary Region'
Sarah Dance

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