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Ministerís visit highlights importance of Thames Gateway infrastructure

24 September 2009
Thames Gateway infrastructure - boxing club
Minister Shahid Malik, Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government aiming a blow in the newly refurbished boxing club in the Gateway Community Centre.
Thames gateway infrastructure - Queensborough  Rushenden
Nick Young, SEEDA's Senior Development Manager with Minister Shahid Malik, viewing the construction at Queenborough & Rushenden.

Shahid Malik MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CLG) visited the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames Gateway yesterday (23 September) for an update on the £400m regeneration project led by South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) at Queenborough and Rushenden, including vital road works.

The proposed regeneration project is a partnership between SEEDA, Swale Borough Council and Kent County Council .



It combines superb new transport links, approximately 1 million sq ft of employment space, environmental improvements, community and leisure facilities and around 2,000 new homes.

The new Rushenden Link Road and works at Neats Court will improve access between the A249 and Queenborough and Rushenden and open up Neats Court for development as a quality business destination, helping generate hundreds of new jobs.

"A revitalised Queenborough & Rushenden, an island just 50 miles from London, will bring about new opportunities for local people,” said Mr Malik, the Thames Gateway Minister, "The Department is extremely pleased to be part of such a community-led project and I pay tribute to all those involved."

Jonathan Sadler, SEEDA's Project Director Thames Gateway, said: "The Rushenden Link Road is a critical element of this regeneration project. Once the infrastructure is in place, it will provide businesses with excellent opportunities to establish themselves or expand. For example, supermarket Aldi will start construction its new HQ building and regional distribution centre and we are also seeing considerable interest from other developers."

Councillor Gerry Lewin, Deputy Leader of Swale Borough Council, said: "Mr Malik's visit to see the initial stages of the area's redevelopment today shows that central Government is as excited as we are about the project. Queenborough and Rushenden's regeneration has been many years in the planning and the start of the road works, which will alleviate traffic and open up access to Rushenden, is a significant step forward."


For media enquiries, please contact:

Jessica Stewart, Media Relations Manager, SEEDA

Tel: 01483 501 307
Email: jessicastewart@seeda.co.uk

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155