Barking Property Investment Guide

Ford’s new £475 million production line will be a massive boost to the economy

Barking is located at the heart of the Thames Gateway. It was one of six London boroughs to be host to some of the 2012 Summer Olympics events.

Situated in east London it forms part of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham which had a population of 185,911 at the 2011 census. That’s an increase of 22,000 people (13.4%) in just ten years.

Barking is a dynamic place with a vibrant community. Located 8.8 miles east of Charing Cross it offers significant investment opportunities particularly in the south where Former industrial land is being redeveloped as Barking Riverside.

Boat building has a long history here dating back to the repair of royal ships of Henry VIII. Other industries replaced the nautical trades, including jute spinning, paint and chemicals manufacturer. By 1878 Daniel de Pass had opened the Barking Guano Works (later de Pass Fertilisers Ltd, part of Fisons). Creekmouth was also the site of the major Barking Power Station from 1925 until the 1970s, burning coal shipped in by the river.

The current power station, known as Barking, is now located further east near Dagenham Dock. In the 20th century, new industrial estates were established in this area and many local residents became employed in the Ford car plant at Dagenham. Ford’s Dagenham plant is still a major employer in the region, it covers around 475 acres and has received over £800 million of capital investment since 2000.

Property prices in the borough are well below the London average price by a massive 69.5%. However property did see a very healthy increase of 16.4% in the last year, so it would suggest that the large-scale regeneration of Barking town centre and the two-mile-long Barking Riverside project is really beginning to pay off. That means Barking property investment is ideal if you’re looking for an outer London property for your portfolio.

Economy & Employment

Ford’s recent £475-million pound production line announcement will be a boost to the borough’s economy.

The regeneration of the 443 acres, former power station site is based on principles of genuinely sustainable development. Of the 10,800 homes, 31% will have three or more bedrooms and over 40% will be affordable. Barking Riverside will also feature healthcare, shopping, community and leisure facilities, all supported by new public transport links. This will create many new business and employment opportunities and boost the local economy.

Barking’s current economy is already largely based on retail.

Manufacturing is a large part of Barking’s economy too. With the Ford engine plant up the road in Dagenham. Being a fraction of its maximum size back in 1953, it is still employing around 3,200 staff, producing up to 1.4 million diesel engines a year.

Ford has made recent announcements to open a further production line in October 2015, this will create an additional 300 jobs in the borough.

In addition, many residents travel to London City for work, taking advantage of the better pay in the city. With the lower living cost of Barking and with its excellent links, the commute is easy.

Investment

Barking Riverside is a long-term redevelopment project by Bellway Homes which will totally transform the area

The town centre forms a large retail and commercial district and is currently a focus for regeneration. The project intends to achieve a more sustainable economy by investing in new quality retail outlets and creating a business centre. It also aims to enable people to widen their employment prospects, mainly through creating new “retail and business accommodation,” which will provide employment and increase the income for both existing and new residents.

The former industrial lands to the south are being redeveloped as Barking Riverside.  The ongoing Barking Riverside Project plans 10,000 homes to be built, housing around 25,000 people. Along with new transport links, including East London Transit and the extension of the DLR.  City Hall is seeking £150 million to extend the Gospel Oak to Barking Line of the London overground to Barking Riverside. The development will also provide new public facilities, creating “a variety of living, working, leisure and cultural amenities”.  Two new primary schools and one secondary school will be built

vFord has announced a new £475 million production line opening in October 2015. The line will produce around 1 million two-litre engines a year and will create 300 new jobs.

Transport

Air: Barking’s nearest airport is London City, being around 15 minutes away. Stansted is just under an hour away, with Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton all reachable in a little over the hour.

Rail: Barking station is a local transport hub and is served by the London Underground, London Overground and National Rail operator c2c and London Bus and East London Transit routes. The east of Barking is served by Upney tube station

Road: The town is situated north of the A13 and east of the River Roding near its confluence with the River Thames in east London. The South Woodford to Barking Relief Road (part of the A406 North Circular Road) runs through the Roding Valley and access to the town centre is by its junction with the A124, which until the late 1920s was the main route to and from London.

Bus: Barking offers excellent bus services throughout the area and further afield to surrounding boroughs and the city.

Education

38 primary schools, 7 secondary schools and 6 independent Schools serve the Barking and Dagenham borough.

Four primary, one secondary and special education needs school will be provided alongside some 65,000 sqm of commercial, retail, community and social facilities in the regeneration of Barking. The first of these, the Rivergate Centre opened in September 2011 and includes a three-form entry primary school incorporating specialist provision for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and a nursery.

Further Education: Barking and Dagenham College is an FE college with approximately 12,000 students located in the borough.

Higher Education: Barking and Dagenham College also offers HE in the borough with a variety of higher level subjects and study options. From a Higher National Certificate (HNC), right through to a post-graduate Master of Business Administration, they also offer advanced professional development courses and apprenticeships.

The Barking Learning Centre, which aims to improve literacy, numeracy and other basic skills was opened in June 2008 by John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills. It currently acts as a borough-based learning facility.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping & Dining: Vicarage Field Shopping Centre is Barking’s main retail area. It houses an Asda supermarket, with a great range of clothing and homeware, as well as an Argos store. There is a fantastic choice with over 60 stores in the complex. With a new lifestyle and beauty stores at the centre, customers can be pampered from top to toe. Stores are arranged on two levels, with lifts and escalators linking the lower level to the upper level. In addition to the retail therapy, there are cafés and coffee shops for light refreshment.

When it comes to dining, there is a huge selection of restaurants, from Nando’s to Big Mo’s American diner to the Yaki Noodle Bar.

Sport & Culture: Notable footballers from Barking include former England captains and defenders Bobby Moore and John Terry. Another well known Barking resident is Patrick Nolan former Barking RFC second row who played for the England national rugby union team. The Broadway is a high-quality theatre and performance hall in the town centre with a broad offering of theatre, live music, dance and comedy.

Green Spaces: Barking has 6 park areas within its boundary: Barking Park, Greatfields Park, Newlands Park and Essex Road Gardens to name a few, then there are the Barking Abbey Ruins. So whether it is space for taking the kids and letting off some steam or a little more culture you are after, there is a good selection of outside space to enjoy.

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

>