Skip to content

Envoy welcomes the announcement of the Estuary’s ministerial champion

10th February 2022

Julia Lopez MP will become the Government’s ministerial champion for the Thames Estuary  it was announced today.

Ms Lopez is the Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure and represents the Hornchurch and Upminster constituency.

Reacting to the Government’s announcement of Julia Lopez MP as the Thames Estuary’s ministerial champion, Kate Willard OBE, Thames Estuary Envoy and Chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Julia Lopez has been appointed as the Government’s ministerial champion for the Thames Estuary.

“Julia is a great Estuary MP and I have already had the opportunity to meet with her and discuss the wide-ranging work we are doing to deliver great green growth and to help level-up this region many times. We have a strong and dynamic relationship and share the same vision for our world class Estuary. I am so looking forward to working with her more closely to deliver our ambitions for our Estuary communities and businesses.

“The Thames Estuary Growth Board and Envoy role were created by Government to unlock opportunities identified by the Thames Estuary 2050 Commission. The appointment of a ministerial champion to work with us clearly illustrates not only the Government’s faith in our region but also its faith in the Growth Board to deliver this agenda – in addition to the part we will play in the recovery, building back better, and long-term growth of the UK.

“We are getting great stuff done in the Estuary; great stuff that reflects the ambitions and policy commitments of Government. Our Hydrogen Route Map, which will catalyse a hydrogen ecosystem in the Estuary, is just one shining example of how we are adding value; and our study into light freight, which will better utilise the River Thames to carry light freight to reduce road traffic congestion, is another. Our associated plans for new investment in jobs and infrastructure will continue to build on our stated goal of making meaningful and desirous change in the Estuary – change that just wouldn’t happen without us.

“The support of a passionate and energetic Thames Estuary ministerial champion will ensure that we are able to amplify our championing of this region’s potential within Government, and also globally to deliver new partnerships, new trade and new investment. There are exciting times ahead. This is a fantastic appointment for the Thames Estuary, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

Announcing the appointment, Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “I am delighted to appoint Minister Lopez as the new Thames Estuary Champion. Her role will be crucial to levelling up the region, by building strong relationships with local partners and working to maximise the impact of major projects in the Thames Estuary for local people.”