Doors close for Gateway funding

PUBLISHED: 16:37 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:39 25 August 2010

MONEY earmarked for the Thames Gateway project three years ago has fallen through, leaving 15 projects without secure funding.

MONEY earmarked for the Thames Gateway project three years ago has fallen through, leaving 15 projects without secure funding.

The long list of ambitious projects, including the Erith Western Gateway and several in Woolwich, may not get underway after funding has only been guaranteed for 135 out of 150 projects.

Some 34 of the 41 projects chosen for funding in 2007 have still not received money according to a review by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Just 15 of these have been identified as a high priority for funding, with 10 classed as medium and 16 low.

"Low strategic priorities" include the Erith Western Gateway, work at Northfleet Station and studies into the development of Swanscombe Peninsula.

In the medium category are projects at Dartford Creek Capital Works, Northfleet Embankment and a Woolwich plan to demolish and re-build three council estates to replace them with 1,064 local authority and affordable homes, plus a further 761 units for private sale.

HCA bosses said that projects which could be delivered quickly, by March 31, 2011, and with the "highest strategic importance" would receive funding.

Dartford station and its surrounding area was identified as a high priority.

A spokesperson for Bexley council said: "Clearly the economic downturn has meant many regeneration projects have slowed down.

"Whilst the HCA has finite resources, Erith Western Gateway remains a priority for them. In that regard, they have continued to fund a number of studies that will be essential before any work can start on site such as surveys of traffic at the Queens Road roundabout."

A spokesperson for Greenwich council said: "Greenwich council has now secured the full allocation of £4.7 million for public realm improvements in Woolwich - £4.35 million for the two town squares with £350,000 for wider public realm improvements. This project is due to begin in the next few weeks.

"We remain in close discussion with the HCA over the scope for an additional funding allocation for the Woolwich Estates regeneration scheme within the Thames Gateway programme.

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