Things to know from Barking and Dagenham – March 2022, Part 1
Our English twin town has changed enormously in recent years. The number of inhabitants has gone up in leaps and bounds, and the municipality has had to expand the development of public facilities to cope with the increased number of inhabitants – currently 213,000.
Because there are so many new things happening with our friends, we want to provide more or less regular updates on what is being talked about in East London. We will take a look at the big projects, but also at smaller innovations that are changing everyday life. We start with three inaugural topics:
New homes for many thousands
Barking Riverside is the largest housing project in East London with 10,800 new homes. Work is in full swing and around 1500 flats are already occupied. The first new residents need a lot of pioneering spirit, as schools, shops, health centres and sports facilities are far from all available.
The 29,000 new citizens expected here correspond to the population of Windsor. Along with the flats, 65,500 square metres of retail space will also be built. A total of 6000 additional jobs are expected in the shops, health and sports facilities.
Three traditional markets to move
They are in every guidebook: Smithfield Market (meat), Billingsgate Market (fish) and New Spittalsfield Market (fruit and vegetables) are to share a single address. They will be co-located on the site of Barking Reach power station. This is 42 acres in size, or about 17 hectares. Each of the three markets will have its own entrance and the stalls will each be grouped around an atrium. The planners have environmental compatibility very much in mind. Not only are solar panels part of the plan, but also a jetty on the banks of the Thames to enable delivery by boat.
In the future, Smithfield Market will include a restaurant hall and a space for concerts and exhibitions. The fact that the City of London Corporation has already acquired the property in 2018 proves how concrete the project is. The purchase price is estimated at 100 million pounds.
The space previously occupied by the markets is to be used for new city flats.
Fordwerke classic car collection to be relocated
The “Barking Dog” pub opposite the train station is something like the obligatory meeting place in our
On the huge site of the Ford works in Dagenham there is a hall in which every type of car that has ever left this factory is gathered. On one of our club trips we had the opportunity to visit this exhibition. Although: exhibition is a very benevolent term. The wagons are standing close together and there is very little information about them. So far, the public has only been admitted on special action days.
Now Ford has confirmed that the cars will be on display in Daventry in the Midlands. There they will be shown regularly in a larger space.
The previous showroom will be used as a production hall in the future. A cooperation partner of Ford, Venari, will develop Transit vans as ambulances there. This will create 100 new jobs.
In a campaign for greater cleanliness in the town, Barking and Dagenham is not shying away from harsh fines. One resident now has to pay a £1000 fine for not sprucing up her run-down garden after several requests.
A new 50-metre track has been launched at Becontree Heath Leisure Centre. Rebecca Adlington, two-time gold medallist at the Beijing Olympics, jumped into the pool for the opening. Several other Olympic participants supported her at the opening.
The Barking & Dagenham and Witten twinning arrangement is one of the oldest existing contacts between a German town and an English town.