GLA: "New initiative launched to protect and strengthen Park Royal"

"The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) is today (20 Jan 2016) launching a new initiative that aims to strengthen London’s largest industrial estate and support its future competitiveness.

"Park Royal in West London is home to 2,000 businesses and employs more than 30,000 people. It is home to successful UK brands including Carphone Warehouse and Diageo as well as hundreds of small independent businesses which play a vital role in supporting London’s economy.

"The estate, often dubbed 'London’s Kitchen', is situated adjacent to Old Oak, a major new development area in London. Old Oak is set to become home to a world-class High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station by 2026, handling 250,000 passengers a day and acting as a super hub between London and the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

"The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP believes the development at Old Oak, and enhancement of the industrial estate at Park Royal has the potential to create up to 65,000 jobs, making a major contribution to London’s future economic growth. In April last year he established the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) to spearhead the regeneration of the area.

"Relatively little was known about the diversity of Park Royal’s businesses until the Mayor published the Park Royal Atlas in 2014. This identified key sectors including food manufacturing, logistics and the film industry. The Atlas revealed that during the course of a year, Park Royal businesses provide London with 240,000 bouquets of flowers, 300,000 rolls of sushi, 3,000 recording sessions and supply 24,000 books to university libraries.

"To ensure that Park Royal remains competitive into the future, and that its businesses are able to take full advantage of the investment at Old Oak, OPDC is now starting to develop a Park Royal Business Plan. This will see the OPDC engaging directly with companies to hear their thoughts and concerns about the challenges and opportunities they face so that an effective plan can be developed to ensure they can continue to thrive.

"OPDC's vision for the Park Royal Business Plan will be unveiled today at an event hosted by the West London Business Group at Park Royal business Fit Out UK, attended by local businesses, stakeholders and the local MPs.

Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Chairman of the OPDC said:
"Since its beginnings over a century ago, Park Royal has become one of the most significant industrial areas in Europe, boasting some hugely successful businesses and acting as a key driver of the capital’s economy. We want Park Royal companies to be at the very forefront of this vast regeneration scheme so they can reap the huge benefits and continue to thrive and grow for another hundred years."
Victoria Hills, OPDC Chief Executive Officer said:
"Over the coming months we will be reaching out to the businesses of Park Royal and beyond so we can understand what will make it successful and competitive in the short, medium, and longer term. We are at the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with Park Royal as we work to deliver one of London's most exciting districts."
"The development of the business plan will be managed by Lori Hoinkes, recently appointed as the OPDC's dedicated Park Royal Business Manager. Lori joins the Corporation from the private sector, where she has held senior management roles across major manufacturing companies in both Canada and the UK.

Rahul Gokhale, Co-Chair, Park Royal Business Group and OPDC Board member said:
"Park Royal businesses are aware that Park Royal faces a number of challenges and that upcoming development in the area will add further pressure to local infrastructure. However, we believe OPDC offers an opportunity for Park Royal to get the attention and support it needs and we welcome the appointment of Lori as the dedicated Park Royal Manager."
"In the near future, the OPDC will be developing a programme of engagement with local businesses including hosting workshops and conducting surveys to develop long-term objectives for Park Royal, alongside developing practical actions to remove key barriers to growth, and create longer term opportunities."

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