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Purfleet-on-Thames

An opportunity to invest in a £1.3 billion development along the Thames Estuary – a creative hub and new town centre providing homes, film and TV studios and community and transport infrastructure.

With 8 phases of development, this project provides a mixed-density scheme with a range of houses, apartments, commercial units and film studios.

It will suit an equity investor seeking an opportunity to regenerate a Thames riverfront site that is easily accessible to central London.

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Location:

Purfleet

Investment type:

Equity

Sector:

(Greener buildings, Build to rent, Film studios, Community assets and neighbourhood facilities, Retail)

Project promoter:

Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd

Scale:

£1.3 billion

Planning status:

Outline planning obtained

Time to Final Investment Decision (FID):

0-6 months

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Simon Sweetinburgh

Senior Investment Specialist

Contact the opportunity lead

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Sector and market opportunity

With 8 phases of development, the provision of up to 2,850 homes in the project supports the government’s housing provision policies. The project is spread over 60 hectares within the M25, and includes:

  • easily phased blocks of 100 to 150 units per sub-phase
  • a high degree of flexibility to allow for multi- and single family build to rent (BTR)
  • low- and mid-rise buildings to manage construction needs
  • considered design that allows for modular construction

The proposed 100,000 square metres of film and TV studio space supports the government’s aim to increase such provision around the UK.

Location

The project is close to central London (a 29-minute commute) and has a kilometre of south-facing Thames frontage. These factors make it an attractive location for all residential types. The average house price in the area is £293,549 (40.3% lower than in London).

A new 9-hectare park supports the regeneration of Purfleet-on-Thames.

With access to London’s pool of creative talent, the site is ideally located to help meet the demand for more film and tv studio space around London.

Connectivity

By rail the project is:

  • 29 minutes to central London (Fenchurch Street station)
  • 19 minutes to West Ham (for London Underground)
  • 21 minutes to Stratford for the Olympic Park, international services and Westfield shopping centre

By road the project is 2 kilometres from Lakeside Shopping Centre, with direct access to the M25.

Local talent and skills

The Royal Opera House and the High House Production Park are both in Purfleet.

The promoter of the project is working with The Backstage Centre (a production, rehearsal and training facility) and South Essex College to create opportunities for students in the creative industries. The masterplan also includes a higher education mini-campus that will work closely with the studios to offer training and apprenticeships.

The area is also only 30 minutes from Central London’s creative industries talent pool.

Research and expertise

Urban Catalyst is a member of the NHS Healthy New Towns network and Purfleet has been recognised by the Local Government Association as an exemplar of healthy development.

Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited is working closely with the Town and Country Planning Association, NHS, Sports England, Environment Agency and the local community in developing the regeneration. The experienced team is also advised by Professor Trevor Davies, a world-leading authority on climate change.

Region Spotlight
South of England

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The region is home to 21 million people. It offers opportunities across a wide range of sectors from nuclear and aerospace, to life science and new technologies. There are vibrant clusters of expertise spanning 5G, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

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Further details

The first 2 phases of the development provide a significant residential opportunity as well as the majority of the commercial (excluding the film studios) and social infrastructure plans.

Phase 1 features:

  • 1,000 units (773 apartments and 227 houses)
  • 61 units currently being delivered under Phase 1A
  • 6,535 square metres of non-residential
  • commercial regeneration work on town centre, train station, supermarket, higher and further education establishment, healthcare provision, schools and convenience retail

Phase 2 features:

  • 743 apartments
  • 5,596 square metres of non-residential
  • improvements to the high street and convenience retail
  • waterfront
  • podium deck to activate waterfront
  • flood-risk mitigation and river wall works

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) highlights

An emphasis on sustainable development means that the site is part of the wider Thames Green Growth Plan. There is an ambition to be carbon net zero.

Residential units will meet Future Homes Standard (75% reduced emissions). Swan Housing will use its own modular construction factory.

Commitment to sustainability in travel and transport means there will be:

  • cycle routes and bike storage
  • mixed transport routes
  • improved bus services
  • electric vehicle (EV) charging

Commitment to community regeneration and placemaking means there will be:

  • a mix of affordable housing tenures
  • a new primary school
  • rebuilding and improvements to the train station
  • a new medical centre

There has been a community consultation and engagement process in place for some time.

Promoters and partnerships

This regeneration project is a public-private partnership between Thurrock Council and Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited (PCRL).

PCRL is the project promoter seeking an investment partner, and represents a joint venture between Urban Catalyst, Swan New Homes Ltd and Keltbray Group (Holdings) Ltd. The partnership is chaired by Sir Timothy Laurence, chairman of the Major Projects Association.

Urban Catalyst works in partnership with public sector agencies, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors in urban regeneration, and has been appointed by PCRL as project manager.

Swan Housing Association provides affordable homes to rent and buy in partnership with local authorities, the GLA and Homes England. Swan has its own offsite modular housing factory.

Keltbray Group is a leading specialist in the engineering and construction sectors, working in the UK and selected markets overseas. It has an extensive track record in site remediation and preparation, which it is working on at Purfleet-On-Thames.

PCRL is engaged with The Creative Estuary Production Corridor, the GLA Creative Team, and the Thames Estuary Growth Board.

PCRL has appointed Knight Frank as its capital markets advisor to lead on the recruitment of the equity investment partner.

Local and national government support

The project’s regeneration partner is Thurrock Council. The development also has a £75 million Housing Infrastructure Fund grant from Homes England.

Other opportunities

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