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The year that was 2021 – Winter review

13th December 2021

Before we wave good bye to 2021 I wanted to look back at what has happened in the Thames Estuary this year.

We kicked off 2021 with an explosion of activity, campaigning in support of the Thames Freeport Bid and finding experts to help us develop key workstreams that will help bring jobs and greater connectivity to the Thames Estuary.

Between January and March 2021 partners and projects in the region were busy too.

Flying into January

We were barely into 2021, when our dynamic Growth Board launched some important projects, seeking expertise to help us kick off our hydrogen, digital and inward investment agendas.

Elsewhere in the Estuary:

  • London Resorts submitted an application to become the world’s first carbon neutral theme park.
  • The first phase of consultation on options for improving transport links between London and Kent – including C2E extension – was launched.

Finding the fab-est partners in February

We were thrilled to announced the appointment of Ikigai and DNV to develop a Hydrogen Investment Strategy that could bring a range of exciting and skilled jobs and green energy to the region. Read our latest news on hydrogen.

This month we also appointed US media moguls Medialink, and UK not-for-profit Groundwork to help us drive forward our digital and inward investment work.

In the Estuary:

  • Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) announced that on this huge project.
  • Partnering with National Highways (then Highways England) we looked for experts who would be able to identify how we could maximise the opportunities LTC brings.

Marvellous news in March

After months of lobbying and campaigning by partners and ourselves, we were delighted the Chancellor announced that the Thames Estuary would be granted a Thames Freeport. Just one of eight successful bids in the March budget announcement.

The ports that would be part of the Thames Freeport zone immediately saw a huge surge in interest from businesses wanting to relocate to the area.

There was more good news:

Find out more:

Estuary Visionaries brightening this wintery period

We were delighted to welcome more brilliant businesses who are doing things to be greener to our free Estuary Visionaries scheme:

  • Thames Baths a vision for a lido on the Thames that would make use of sustainable technologies to make it happen.
  • Kentish Soap Company an award winning, independent, family-run business set up by Jane Waddy making and selling natural soaps, candles, bath and body products.
  • Ground Control is a leading carbon-neutral and the UK’s largest privately-owned provider of landscaping and maintenance services.

Whilst this Board wants to create the greenest Estuary in the world, it’s important for me to recognise what businesses up and down the region are doing already. You can find out more and nominate businesses in the Estuary that are taking steps to do things in a more sustainable way here:

Artist impression of a lido on the Thames. Photo credit: Studio Octopi and Picture Plane

Artist impression of a lido on the Thames. Photo credit: Studio Octopi and Picture Plane

Winter wrap up

This is a Board that gets stuff done. We launched our vision ‘the Green Blue’ action plan in June 2020 and just a few months later we were kick-starting really important studies to inform the work we do and help us drive growth across the region.

We started strong and sprung into spring with no less gusto and I will pick this up in my next post.