8 July 2016: 3:34 pm
First issue of BaSE magazine launched
More than 100 people attended the launch of the first issue of BaSE magazine, which focuses on development opportunities and regeneration projects in Basildon, Essex.
The event at Cushman and Wakefield’s Portman Square offices in central London was attended by 117 delegates from the property industry and local authorities in Essex.
As well as providing networking opportunities, the event featured speeches from Basildon Borough Council's senior members and some of the main investors in the area.
Speaking at the event, Councillor Phil Turner, leader of the council, said he wanted to send a “clear message on how passionate our commitment is to regeneration in Basildon”.
“There is nothing which is higher on my agenda than economic growth,” he said.
“We want to deliver and make sure that opportunity is available, not just for residents, but for developers as well.
“We want to create opportunities for young people so that they can succeed without leaving the borough and offer their skills back to you as developers.”
He drew the audience’s attention to the content of BaSE magazine, saying that it told “very compelling stories”.
He spoke about Costa Coffee's recent opening of a £36 million roasting plant in Basildon and Redrow Homes and Swan Housing, developers which are active in the borough, as examples of the positive contribution businesses were making to the borough: “Not only do they provide fantastic products, but they also deliver jobs for local people and deliver regeneration.”
Turner was also keen to stress that the council’s commitment to business came from across the party political divide.
“Basildon is Conservative-led since 2002, but we do work in partnership with other parties,” he said, concluding: “Whether Basildon is blue or red or green, it doesn’t matter: we are all focused on generating growth. Whoever is in charge, Basildon Borough Council is united in the long term objective of creating opportunity and economic growth.
“We are not just open to business, we are all about business.”
Council’s chief executive Bala Mahendran also spoke at the event: “The borough was created around 35 years ago and now we are the largest economy in Essex,” he said.
He explained his vision on the economical situation following the British voters’ decision to leave the European Union: “Clearly at the moment there is uncertainty in the country. But we have a clear track record of projects delivered during the economic downturn following the 2008 crisis.”
He gave the example of Basildon Sporting Village, completed in 2011 ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games, and concluded: “We have the confidence, the clarity of intent and the partnerships in place to make things happen.
“The future of this country will not be created in Whitehall but in places like Basildon.”