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Construction underway on development at former sport centre in Barking

David Harley, Robert McDonnell, Cllr Darren Rodwell, Lee Fitzpatrick and Sam Neophytou

Construction is underway on a development in Barking that will include an independent cinema, affordable housing and a new facility for older people.

The new development in Axe Street will replace the former Abbey Sports Centre.

Plans are for 170 homes for rent, and will include one, two and three-bedroom residential flats. 60 of the properties will be ‘affordable’, with rents below the market rate.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Darren Rodwell, said: “It’s great to see another exciting development get underway in Barking.

“It will provide affordable homes for local people, a new base for Care City to improve health services for our elderly residents, and together with a new Independent Cinema, will be another great addition to the borough.”

The project is being run by Lindhill Properties.

Managing Director, Lee Fitzpatrick said: “Lindhill are very proud and excited that the redevelopment of the former sports centre has commenced.

“It will provide much needed high quality residential properties and become a new destination development that the people of Barking can enjoy.”

Head of Regeneration at Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration arm, David Harley said: “This is a fantastic new development for the local community and with the Independent Cinema, it will make a big contribution to making Barking a thriving town centre.”

The two-screen independent cinema with creative workshop space is being operated by Arthouse Crouch End.

Sam Neophytou, of Arthouse Crouch End, said: “We want to create a cinema for all in our community, which inspires creativity and local engagement, celebrates Barking and Dagenham’s industrious past and looks forward in hope to its creative future.”

Aberdeen Standard Investments have funded the development.

Residential Fund Manager of Aberdeen Standard Investments, Robert McDonnell, said: “We are delighted the Build to Rent development has commenced and look forward to providing both private and affordable rental accommodation to residents in 2022.”

The project is set to be finished by June 2022.

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