Let's revitalise Barking Town Centre!

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We have produced the Barking Town Centre Regeneration Strategy 2020-2030 on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council. It's a bold 10-year vision for the town centre together with a delivery plan highlighting key opportunities for future improvements. Our vision is below.

“A town centre where inclusive growth unlocks a new lease of life - a healthy, safe and sustainable place to live, work, learn, socialise, shop, eat and relax with great places to visit. A real destination, day and night with a strong sense of place and identity harnessing its physical assets and rich heritage. Markets, merchants, makers and more. Roding Riverside will restore the river’s importance to Barking, being the creative and cultural heart of Barking town centre, with new homes and jobs for local people.”

The strategy was approved by the Council’s Cabinet on 20 October 2020. It is the long term recovery plan to build confidence in Barking’s future in light of the coronavirus impact and challenges, tying into existing covid-19 measures from the Council.

We'll use this website to update you on the strategy’s progress and key issues impacting the town centre.

Get involved!

  • Take a look at the strategy here or watch our video summary
  • If you have ideas about how to make Barking a better place, post them here. And, send us your photos too
  • Sign up for updates and news about Barking town centre - we'll let you know about other opportunities to get involved.

We have produced the Barking Town Centre Regeneration Strategy 2020-2030 on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Council. It's a bold 10-year vision for the town centre together with a delivery plan highlighting key opportunities for future improvements. Our vision is below.

“A town centre where inclusive growth unlocks a new lease of life - a healthy, safe and sustainable place to live, work, learn, socialise, shop, eat and relax with great places to visit. A real destination, day and night with a strong sense of place and identity harnessing its physical assets and rich heritage. Markets, merchants, makers and more. Roding Riverside will restore the river’s importance to Barking, being the creative and cultural heart of Barking town centre, with new homes and jobs for local people.”

The strategy was approved by the Council’s Cabinet on 20 October 2020. It is the long term recovery plan to build confidence in Barking’s future in light of the coronavirus impact and challenges, tying into existing covid-19 measures from the Council.

We'll use this website to update you on the strategy’s progress and key issues impacting the town centre.

Get involved!

  • Take a look at the strategy here or watch our video summary
  • If you have ideas about how to make Barking a better place, post them here. And, send us your photos too
  • Sign up for updates and news about Barking town centre - we'll let you know about other opportunities to get involved.
  • Make it London boost to buzzing Barking

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    A six storey building at the heart of Barking will become home to London’s most exciting makers, food stars, retailers, content creators, designers, social enterprises and start-up businesses, Councillors agreed last night (21 September 2021)

    The exciting plans to makeover Roycraft House on Linton Road, Barking, are the brainchild of Make it London, who were awarded the contract to give a new lease of life to the former-council offices following an open competition run by the council’s regeneration organisation, Be First.

    Make It London have operated within the affordable and creative work and cultural space sector since 2013, with successful spaces in Bow and Hackney Wick. The team plans to transform the Roycraft House into a multi-faceted destination for the local community and for visitors alike. It will provide a workspace hub for independent businesses together with an event, cafe and community space, a rooftop garden, a vast coworking floor and a series of public-facing creative facility spaces.

    Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “Make It London will add to the buzz around Barking, generating jobs through the provision of affordable and inclusive workspaces for all, and generating excitement with a cultural hub for use by and with the community”.

    The Council has awarded Make It London a 10 year lease, and the company will now start a period of intensive engagement with local community organisations before starting work to re-model the building. The team expects to open for business by Summer 2022.

    Hannah Briley, Managing Director of Make It London, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be reimagining Roycraft House into an exciting multi-use asset for Barking and Dagenham.

    “We believe there are some seriously exciting businesses and talent in the area who will thrive in an inclusive and flexible work environment.

    “The last 18 months have been a real eye-opener for the workspace sector, with a lot of positives to take from the changes in the ways we now live and work.

    “People are more imaginative with their business ideas than ever and there’s huge demand for flexibility from both freelancers and those who no longer need to travel to an office in central London.

    “And it’s not just about workspace, it’s cultural, retail, social and entertainment spaces that are going through flux too.

    “People are spending more and more time where they live and communities want and need to see local neighbourhood and town centre spaces reimagined into positive multi-use destinations where they can work, eat, drink, play, shop and socialise right on their doorstep.

    “This is exactly our vision for Roycraft House, to create a destination for everyone to enjoy. It’s refreshing to finally see the attention shift from central London to fantastic boroughs like Barking and Dagenham and we’re really excited to be a part of that new perspective!”

  • Try out your business idea at Barking market

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    The council is inviting local budding entrepreneurs to try their hands at market trading.

    As part of their plans to celebrate new business ideas and skills over the summer months, around 27 brand new market stall traders will be welcomed to Barking Town Centre, mainly in the Town Hall Square.

    So, for anyone who has developed new skills during lockdown - for example making food products, craft products, or giftware – it could be just the break they need.

    David Harley, Regeneration Manager for Be First, the Council’s regeneration organisation, says: “We’re looking for local individuals, groups or community organisations who are keen to test the market. And, what better way than to start with your own stall in the heart of Barking's buzzing marketplace? It’s an exciting new opportunity to promote your products.”

    The markets will operate under Covid-safe guidelines from June 22 and form part of the council’s plans to encourage people to return to the town centre safely, supported by the government's Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

    Further details and an application form are available here.

  • Work gets underway to extend Barking's low carbon energy network

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    Work gets underway to extend Barking’s low carbon energy network

    B&D Energy is expanding their service so that even more residents can benefit from low carbon energy in and around Barking Town Centre.

    Vital Energi has been employed by the council to dig trial holes and then install the highly insulated underground pipework to extend the area’s District Heating network, which currently delivers locally generated energy to hundreds of Barking homes. In total, the work is expected to take around eight months to complete.

    Full details of the roads affected and schedule of work can be found here.

  • The results are in! The Barking heritage mural

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    Residents have given their verdict on the proposals for a heritage mural in the heart of Barking town centre.

    Almost 170 people voted and substantially more than half favoured mural artist Jake Attewell’s striking design featured above.

    Jake has vowed to honour the residents’ decision and will start work on the mural above McDonalds on the corner of Short Blue Place and East Street, Barking in early May 2021.

    “I’m really pleased that so many voted and that the design was a crowd favourite,” he said, “I’m really looking forward to getting started. Feel free to come down and say hello to me and my team, and please follow our progress on Instagram!”

    Jake says his design is a contemporary take on Barking's heritage, much of it lost, but still valued by residents. His design features five main elements.

    • At the apex of the wall, there’s an illustration of early twentieth century East Street, including a tram, which Jake hopes to illuminate and animate when the mural is launched next September.
    • He has also incorporated the Bascule Bridge which carried the trams over the Roding to Beckton Gas Works, once a vital transport link for many local people employed there.
    • The Curfew Tower, which is the only remaining part of Barking's once formidable Abbey.
    • The Wellington Windmill which until 1926 stood close to the London Road bridge between the River Roding and Back River
    • The River Roding flows through the design to the quayside, where fishing boats moored when it was the country's busiest fishing port hosting the world's largest fleet. It continues to be an attractive focal point for Barking today.

    Jake was commissioned by Be First, the Council’s regeneration organisation, to paint the mural after a competition to design artwork for the heritage wall and the brief was developed using research by local Heritage Volunteers and a public survey which took place last summer.

    The commission forms part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund's programme of activities which will also include a heritage trail of installations by mosaic artist Tamara Fround which will stretch from Abbey Green to Short Blue Place, depicting other lost heritage, such as the Tudor Market Hall and Leet House, jute weavers and spinners, classic high street stores and more.

    Find out more about our heritage activity here.

  • Free online conservation advice for Barking businesses and residents

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    The council has invited local businesses and residents to find out how they will be affected by the new rules for the conservation area in Barking town centre.

    Two free online workshops will examine the impact of the management plan for the Abbey and Barking Town Centre Conservation Area, which was adopted by the Council in October 2020.

    They will look at the latest guidance for Barking’s town centre which outlines the responsibilities of residents and businesses to maintain their buildings appropriately in order to enhance the historic character of the town centre.

    Colin Bannon, Town Heritage Officer, explains: “The conservation area is vitally important in helping us to preserve and enhance Barking’s historic buildings and spaces.

    “We are keen to talk to residents and business owners to ensure that any alterations they make to their property are high quality and consistent with the special character of the conservation area.

    “Our online workshops will look at the types of issues that must be considered when planning any alteration to homes or premises, ranging from shop fronts and windows, through to satellite dishes and even advice on pigeon deterrents.”

    “They are geared towards anyone who has property in the area, but may also be of interest to people with an interest in historic buildings as well as students or professionals in the planning and construction industries locally.”

    The workshops take place on 26 January and 2 February, and further details are available here.

  • Easy guide issued to maintain Barking town centre’s historical character

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    The council has issued new guidance for Barking’s town centre residents and businesses, outlining their responsibilities to maintain and enhance the historic character of the town centre.

    The move follows the decision by the council to update the boundary of the conservation area and management plan for the Abbey and Barking Town Centre Conservation Area in October, after a public consultation exercise over the summer.

    Parts of Barking were included in a conservation area in 1975 in order to protect the heritage of the town centre. The designation means that any changes that take place within the boundary must conserve and enhance the area's special character and appearance.

    Colin Bannon, Town Heritage Officer said: “We are proud of our heritage and so we’ve now updated the conservation area to include new buildings and spaces which add to Barking’s special character, and to remove those which no longer contribute.

    “We’ve produced the guide for residents and business owners because we are keen to ensure that any alterations they make to their property are high quality and consistent with the special character of the conservation area.”

    The guide sets out the types of issues that people within the conservation area must consider when planning any alteration to their homes or premises, ranging from shop fronts and windows, through to satellite dishes and even pigeon deterrents.

    A copy of the user guide is currently available online. In the New Year, the council will also be running workshops to explain the guidance for people living and working in the conservation area and to discuss how to look after historic buildings and make changes appropriately, including when planning permission is required.

Page last updated: 30 September 2021, 14:50