WORKS on the first phase of a £1billion pound town centre regeneration are now underway.

The project, for the major revamp of Purfleet-on-Thames, is being delivered by Purfleet Centre Regeneration, a joint venture between Urban Catalyst and Swan Housing Association in association with Thurrock Council.

Work has officially started on Phase 1A of the project which will create 61 new two, three and four bedroom homes close to the rail station, helping to address the housing need.

The initial phase also includes a new children’s play area and an orchard walk which will reinstate public access to Hollow Woods creating a gateway to the wider masterplan by connecting the new neighbourhood to the future new town centre and wider community spaces.

John O’Sullivan, site manager at Keltbray, Ken Dytor, chair and founder of Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited and John Rowles, chairman of Purfleet-on-Thames Community Forum met for a photocall as works started.

The initial 61 new homes form part of the £1billion planned regeneration of the town centre that will see 2,850 new homes alongside a vibrant town centre with shops, community amenities including a new health centre, improved railway and transport facilities and employment and training opportunities.

The plans also include a state-of-the-art media village and entertainment studios.

It supports the vision for Purfleet-on-Thames, which is already home to the High House Production Park, to become an international creative hub within the Thames Gateway.

Ken Dytor, director and founder of Purfleet Centre Regeneration, said: “These homes will not only contribute to the Government’s target to build 300,000 new homes every year to address the UK’S chronic housing shortage but will also support the wider growth vision for Thames Estuary.”

Vince Corrigan, chief operating officer of Keltbray, which is helping to deliver the scheme, said: “Keltbray is pleased to have started works on this innovative urban regeneration scheme to support the transformation of Purfleet-on-Thames into an exciting riverside destination.”