McLaren celebrates completion of Crown House, the first project within Be First’s £1 billion framework, delivering over £16m local supplier spend
McLaren Construction today celebrates the completion of Crown House, the first project of the Be First Development Framework. Be First is the wholly-owned development company of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
The framework is designed to accelerate development and growth in the borough to benefit the residents of Barking and Dagenham. Affordable homes for local people is the main focus for the framework, alongside related infrastructure and local amenities.
McLaren Construction is working on a total of three projects delivered via the framework agreement and building one of the first co-location projects in London, mixing new affordable homes and light industrial units at 12 Thames Road in Barking.
McLaren Construction is committed to working in partnership with Be First to improve the communities in which it works and has exceeded local spend targets for Crown House by 139%, delivering over £15m spend to the local economy through its commitment to appointing local SME’s and suppliers. Thames Road, still under construction, has already surpassed targets by 195% with a local spend of over £15m already committed.
In addition to local spend, Crown House has provided 230 new employment opportunities, beating targets by 500%. The project has also created 26 new apprentices, 16 trainees, 24 work experience placements and educational workshops. Thames Road has already topped targets for employment by 238% providing 76 new opportunities. The project has employed local contractor Corbyn Construction and is providing modern premises and new customers for a previous tenant of the site, Brother’s Café.
Crown House will provide 169 new homes in the centre of Barking, delivering a mix of shared ownership, affordable rent and market rent apartments, with retail and commercial at ground level, as well as improved environment and new public square.
Set to complete in Spring 2024, the £63.8 million Thames Road project will provide 156 new affordable apartments split 50/50 between Affordable Rent and London Affordable Rent with a mix of one, two and three bedrooms, private balconies, rooftop gardens and play areas, plus 17 light industrial units and a dual aspect café fronting onto Thames Road and Crossness Road.
McLaren Construction’s managing director for London, Darren Gill, comments, “We are very proud to celebrate, alongside Be First, the completion of Crown House. Be First has trusted McLaren with two of the most prominent new landmarks in Barking. We have shown through our work on Crown House that we can keep these ambitious public sector projects on track regardless of the continuing pandemic and serious cost inflation.”
“We’ve commenced construction on Thames Road and through our work on both projects we have demonstrated our support for local employment and our commitment to social value by exceeding targets by 300% and delivering over £30m spend to the local economy.”
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “The completion of the new Crown House will deliver 169 quality affordable homes in the heart of Barking town centre. This superb development boasts some of the best views in London and will be an integral part of a new buzzing Barking.”
Also awarded to McLaren under the framework is the UK’s first multi-storey light industrial development, located in Barking’s River Road Employment Area. Known as Industria, it provides flexible light industrial units of up to 475 square metres, factory units up to 230 square metres, a business centre, ground floor shops and a public café.