So the Thames Gateway really is a a portal to somewhere rather than a hiding to nowhere. Today saw the signing of a really serious contract to build a new deep water container port on the north bank. £400,000 worth of building work has been commissioned, and so it looks like the project’s a goer.
The £1.5 billion site belongs to Dubai Ports. It occupies the former Shell Haven (which never was a haven by any stretch of the imagination), and for those that like useless information it is the size of 60 Wembley Stadiums.
Now it is true that the work might dislodge a few disgruntled hen harriers, anger a handful of avocets, and rile some ringed-plovers. But the benefits for the region and the British economy as a whole are immeasurable. The scheme will provide 12,000 jobs during the manufacturing period alone, and its potential as an international port able to handle, well, an awful lot of cargo, is huge. It should send some very positive waves up the estuary at a time when pretty much everything else is shrouded in economic doom and gloom. Londonist approves.
Port activity from Rhys Jones’ flickr stream under the Creative Commons Licence.