In 2019, Arup was commissioned to convene ‘The Future of Barking Town Centre Panel’, which was created to develop a vision for the future of the town centre in 2030.

Whilst Barking is functioning well as a town centre, it is not fulfilling its potential. It currently does not fully meet the needs of existing residents, or indeed those who will be moving into the area in the coming years, The panel’s role over several months, was to review a range of inputs, to understand the context of the existing town centre offer and to ensure that the vision being developed was linked to inclusive growth and the borough’s wider objectives.

The summary report outlined how the town centre can be resilient against shifting retail trends, complement the offer of nearby competitors, support local businesses, and caters to the needs of all residents who call Barking home.

The next stage is to engage the community, to ensure the draft vision meets their needs or to identify the changes needed for it to do so. As with many things right now, it will benefit from a review post-COVID-19 to check timescales on developments and learnings from the lockdown period.

To find out more about how Barking & Dagenham, as a borough, are doing regeneration differently, read our piece in The London Society Journal available on their blog or find out more about developments in Barking on the Be First website.