Joint strategy to improve Basildon could unlock investment in towns and cities across the UK
Essex County Council and Basildon Council both featured at this week’s launch of the National Infrastructure Commission’s report on the ‘Next Steps for Cities’.
In December 2018, Basildon was chosen by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to join Derby, Exeter, Liverpool City Region and West Yorkshire as one of five case studies for achieving long-term growth in transport, housing and the local economy to 2050.
Essex County Council and Basildon Council have worked in partnership to deliver this strategy, to be published later this year.
The NIC’s report will set out the successes of ECC and BC’s collaborative work in the development of the strategy over the last two years.
Improving housing, transport, and economic opportunity across Basildon will be key to the continued success of the borough, which by 2050 could have a population of more than 300,000 – building on its current position at the heart of the South Essex economy and on the road to being a truly desirable place to live, work, study, or set up a business.
To succeed Basildon will need significant investment. To encourage this the strategy will:
Articulate ambitions beyond the local plan timeframe, positioning Basildon as a key location for growth and investment in the South Essex growth corridor and wider Thames estuary;
Demonstrate the impact that longer term funding for transformative projects could have in Basildon and provide a timeline of projects which could attract investment;
Provide local partners with an evidence base upon which to engage with potential investors.
The success of this approach and the emergence of a thriving Basildon could provide a blueprint for tackling issues of inequality and outdated infrastructure which could be used to improve other UK towns and cities.
Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “We’re grateful to colleagues at Basildon Borough Council and Essex County Council who have shared their experience in developing an urban infrastructure strategy for the benefit of other cities across the country.
“The valuable input of the team from Basildon, among other cities, has helped us draw together practical lessons on how such strategies can make a positive difference for citizens.”
The full National Infrastructure Commission’s report can be found here.