Romford is the largest of seven town centres in Havering and is home to the borough’s Town Hall and administrative offices. It’s a thriving location with a vibrant shopping, entertainment and leisure offering and it’s a dynamic business hub too. More than 22 million visitors are attracted into the town annually.
Romford has prospered in recent years thanks in part to its strategic position at the heart of the Thames Gateway. Not only has the town substantially revitalised its traditional retail and leisure offering, it is increasingly becoming a place where people genuinely want to live, work and invest due to its exceptional location and accessibility.
Thanks to massive investment and support from London Borough of Havering and the Romford Town Centre Partnership over the past decade, Romford Town Centre has been able to respond convincingly to the competition presented by the nearby Lakeside, Bluewater and Westfield shopping centres. It has grown to become the largest shopping centre in the sub-region and the fourth largest retail centre in London.
There are a number of exciting developments planned for the town. The Romford Leisure Development is a truly innovative scheme set to deliver an eight-lane competition swimming pool, training pool, ice rink and many other leisure facilities right at the heart of the town.
Crossrail will improve Romford’s connectivity to the South East and London and will bring with it a multitude of opportunities.
Romford is Havering’s key hub for office-based employment.
Romford’s office space is conveniently located in close proximity to the town’s main line railway station and major bus interchange facilities. The town centre as a whole benefits from very high levels of accessibility and these will be enhanced when the new Crossrail services become operational in 2017/2018. This accessibility contributes considerably to the importance and significance of the Romford Office Quarter in employment and economic terms.
Romford’s office space delivers good quality office space within a business orientated environment, with market rates lower in comparison to areas such as Canary Wharf. With an impressive and very extensive range of town centre facilities on the doorstep, plus numerous amenities, public transport links, road connectivity and services, it is no wonder this area is considered a key location by so many businesses.
In the south of the borough sits Havering Riverside. Part of London Riverside, this area stretches from Barking Reach to Wennington Marshes and incorporates Rainham Village, the business areas around the A1036, Ferry Lane and Coldharbour Lane, and the former industrial areas once owned by the Ford Motor Company. A new proposed railway station at Beam Park will link the area to London Fenchurch Street and the South Essex Coast as well as serving the emerging major developments.
London Riverside remains the largest regeneration opportunity within the Thames Gateway development scheme and presents the largest reservoir of brownfield land in London. Havering Riverside has the potential to generate up to 25,000 new jobs and 4-5,000 new homes by 2025.
The Wildspace initiative, also known as the London Riverside Conservation Park, is a major conservation park currently under development involving the RSPB and London Borough of Havering, amongst other organisations. Much of its 1,500 acres spreads across the Rainham Marshes and it is expected the park could attract up to 500,000 visitors per year
The Havering Riverside Vision
The vision is that Havering Riverside will be the first-choice destination for businesses and people seeking to live in a finely serviced and well-connected community. It will provide opportunities for living and working in a unique environment that is rich in wildlife and heritage.
The London Riverside Business Improvement District
The London Riverside Business Improvement District occupies around 200 hectares of land in the area and is home to around 350 businesses. There is a diverse mix of traditional companies including large scale waste management companies such as Veolia and international businesses such as Tilda Rice, Wincanton, Mason Pearson and Tesco.
Rejuvenating London’s Manufacturing Base
The £40 million Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) is key to rejuvenating London’s manufacturing base and encouraging business growth in the Thames Gateway corridor. The Department of Communities and Local Government has approved £3.5 million worth of Government investment for manufacturing innovation to support a new high speed sustainable manufacturing institute at CEME.
Beam Reach is identified by the Mayor of London as the most favourable location to attract investment by manufacturing companies. Businesses are offered the prospect of taking advantage of a revitalised gateway into East London within a development that will make best use of the available land to accommodate businesses, support services and sustainable housing. The area already has a skilled labour force and existing high quality homes. Freshly built leisure and community facilities designed around new and existing public transport services will integrate with existing communities. A new proposed railway station at Beam Park will link the area to London Fenchurch Street and the south Essex coast as well as serving the emerging major developments.
London Riverside: Uniquely Placed for the Future
The entire area is uniquely placed for the future. It encompasses 1,000 hectares of riverside open space and nature reserves boosted by excellent transport links bringing London and the rest of the UK within easy reach. The M25 and the country’s motorway system are just five minutes away by car while trains take fifteen minutes to reach the City of London and Canary Wharf. It is by far one of the most extensive and exciting regeneration projects in London in recent years.
Harold Hill Industrial Estate, at almost 31 hectares in size is one of Havering’s strategic industrial locations. It is just off the A12, which has direct access to the M25, making it a very convenient and attractive location for businesses.
Harold Hill Industrial Estate has a number of detached warehouse and industrial units, many of which include high quality office facilities. There is also a mixture of new and established properties currently used for business purposes including offices, factories and retail outlets. Much of the area’s commercial real estate is well located with sufficient distance away from residential developments.