Miliband promises gateway framework

A strategic framework is to be drawn up to help guide decisions and investment in the Thames Gateway, communities minister David Miliband said this week.

Speaking at the Thames Gateway Forum, Miliband said he wants the framework in place by next summer to tackle the problems of overlapping regeneration bodies in the growth area. The plethora of delivery agencies was also highlighted by Lord Rogers in the Urban Task Force's second report, also published this week.

But Miliband said that wholesale reorganisation is the last thing the gateway needs. "History shows that one institution in Stalinist control is likely to get complex projects wrong," he argued. Instead, the framework will be created and shared by all the agencies, he pledged.

Meanwhile, English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley told the forum that the gateway is a "gold mine of historical heritage". He added: "Identifying and regenerating historic hubs provides an economic, geographic and civic focus for new places." He argued that "through investment in its historic hubs, the area is rediscovering its soul".

The agency has so far identified more than 100 hubs including towns, cities and villages that provide the potential to revitalise an entire area. Its latest publication outlines heritage-led regeneration initiatives across the Thames Gateway.

Growing Places: Heritage and a Sustainable Future for the Thames Gateway is available from English Heritage Customer Services (tel) 0870 333 1181.

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