Agenda item

Tilbury Town Fund Programme


The Strategic Lead Regeneration introduced the report and stated that it was being presented to the Committee ahead of submission to Cabinet next week, and it outlined the Tilbury Town Fund programme. He stated that the programme provided approximately £22.8million to Tilbury as part of central government’s levelling up programme, and officers were currently in the process of preparing a Business Case Summary to be submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities before 5 August deadline. He explained that Table 1 of the report outlined the revised programme list, which had been amended following a cost plan review and stakeholder feedback.

The Chair thanked officers for the report and felt that it was positive as it would provide approximately £22.8million in funding to Tilbury. He asked if the team had considered cost inflation for areas such as materials within the budget, as parts of the project was not due to be completed until March 2026, during which inflation may have risen further. The Strategic Lead Regeneration stated that during the programme review stage, the budget would be looked at more rigorously. He explained that there had been inconsistencies in the previous budget due to inflation, which were now being addressed as outlined in section 3.4 of the report. The Chair queried the cost increase for the Tilbury jetty. The Strategic Lead Regeneration explained that this cost increase was due to sense checking the preliminary design. He stated that the first design had been for a double-decker jetty structure, which was not required and had been over-engineered. He stated that the cost increase reflected predicted cost increases for quarter 3 in 2023 and other contingencies. He added that other areas of the fund had reduced their budget envelopes, for example the community hub and adult skills centre which had reduced costs by proposing the reuse of existing buildings rather than building a new building.

Councillor Allen felt that the proposed jetty would be more beneficial to the cruise terminal and ports rather than residents, although he felt it could be a good way to travel into London. He asked who had examined the preferred site of the youth centre at Anchor Fields and why they had determined that site to be the best location. He felt that other areas such as Brennan Road and London Road would be better sites for the youth centre, as Anchor Fields was currently designated as a Field in Trust and used as open, green space by residents. He asked if other sites could be explored and investigated for the youth centre. The Strategic Lead Regeneration explained that the Committee and Cabinet had previously considered the Town Investment Plan, which had included the proposal for the Thurrock Youth Zone. He explained that the location was subject to review, but the preferred site was Anchor Fields due to constraints with other sites. He explained that the old youth centre building was too small; the police station was also too small and not council owned; the children’s centre was still being used as a children’s centre with no plans to move; Dock Road was situated on industrial land, on the edge of the heart are, and had significant remediation costs; and Daisy Fields was used for a more active recreational area with sports pitches. He stated that the team had considered all sites against the agreed upon criteria, for example the site had to be within the heart of the community and council owned, and the proposed site would undergo due diligence tests before coming back to the Committee and Cabinet. The Strategic Lead Regeneration added that the site would have to undergo consultation and go through the planning process, which would include reasons why other sites were not as viable. He summarised and stated that the team would engage with residents through a public consultation with Onside to balance the benefits of the site against resident concerns. The Chair asked how much land would be left at Anchor Fields if the proposed youth centre was built there. The Strategic Lead Regeneration stated that minimal land take would be a requirement of the build and the team would ensure the building had a small footprint through consultation and engagement.

Councillor Watson questioned how the proposals would benefit the people of Tilbury. She felt that residents would benefit more from the regeneration of areas such as Dock Road, rather than a new jetty or heritage regeneration. She asked if Uber would be willing to contribute to the cost of the jetty, as she felt they would be the primary beneficiaries. She questioned why the cost of the Fort works had increased, but the cost of the adult skills hub had decreased, and who made the decisions regarding the proposals. The Strategic Lead Regeneration explained that the proposals were agreed upon by the Tilbury Town Fund Board (TTFB), which was constituted in line with central government guidance and included residents, commercial stakeholders, and political members. He stated that the TTFB had felt that the proposed programme balanced resources to ensure the money was spent in the right places. He added that the team had talked to the relevant services about how buildings could be adapted and made fit for purpose, and would meet the need of residents, for example the proposed youth centre and adult skills hub. He commented that youth centres had a proven impact on the outcomes for young people, and programmes such as the jetty would improve commuters’ journeys and encourage visitors to Tilbury to visit Tilbury Fort and the proposed Heritage Centre. He summarised and stated that points raised by the Committee would be reported back to Cabinet.

Councillor Raper asked how the fund would improve the area of Tilbury. The Strategic Lead Regeneration described how the TTFB had looked at the collection of buildings in Tilbury, such as the parade and church, and felt that improvements through the public realm team could uplift the area. He gave the example of the 1920s buildings in the town which were historical and prominent and stated that the team would be working to ensure its significance was retained and enhanced. Councillor Carter felt pleased to see that heritage had been added to the proposal list, as there was lots of history within Thurrock that could be improved and celebrated. Councillor Snell felt that it was good to see youth facilities and heritage on the proposal list. He added that the jetty would improve sustainable travel options in the borough and could increase footfall and business opportunities within Tilbury. The Strategic Lead Regeneration added that Tilbury town had already undergone some improvement works, such as new cycle facilities and planting, and some proposals would not be brought forward in this funding round, but would be considered in the longer term.

Councillor Allen agreed that a youth centre would improve the outcomes for the children of Tilbury, but felt opposed to the proposed site. Councillor Raper asked if other alternatives had been considered for the youth centre site. The Strategic Lead Regeneration stated that he would share the analysis of the alternative sites with the Committee, but explained that if the proposal did go ahead the land could contain a covenant to ensure the land was safeguarded.


1. That the Committee noted and commented on the report, including the Cabinet recommendations as set out below:

“That Cabinet:

Approve the Tilbury Town Fund Programme and Budget allocations as set out in Table 1 of this report.

Delegates authority to the Corporate Director of Resources and Place Delivery, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Strategic Planning and External Relationship and the Assistant Director of Legal Services, to approve the Business Care Summaries, and agree lease, development and contractual terms (including approval to go to tender and award) to support the delivery of the programme.

Confirms agreement to underwrite the proposed financial settlement to enable the delivery of the Thurrock Youth Zone, as set out in Section 8.1 of this report, and that officers actively seek alternative revenue streams to support the long-term delivery of the Youth Zone.”

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