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On this page we provide links to the LDDC Press Releases which have been most requested by the users of this site. The files are all in Acrobat .pdf format and you will need an Acrobat Reader to see them. This can be obtained free of charge by clicking the icon opposite. No file exceeds 306kb

LDDC Annual Reports
Policies, Papers, Reviews and Studies
Enterprise Zone
Canary Wharf
Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
London City Airport
Limehouse Link
Other Docklands Roads
The Tower Hamlets Accord
Newham Memorandum of Agreement

Primary Healthcare
West Silvertown Urban Village
Surrey Quays
ExCel London
UEL Docklands Campus
Completing the Remit

Click here for more information about the LDDC's Press Releases, an Index of more than 1330 items and how to order those not available on this site

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Annual Reports and Accounts

These press releases summarise the achievements of the LDDC as recorded each year in the Corporation's Annual Report and Acounts.

1981/82 1982/83 1983/84 1984/85 1985/86 1986/87
1987/88 1988/89 1989/90 1990/91 1991/92 1992/93
1993/94 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97    


The LDDC's Annual Report and Accounts for 1997/98, it's last such report, was not published until after the Corporation ceased operations and sadly we do not have a copy of the Press Release issued with it. The Corporation did, however, at the end of March 1998 issue a closing release summarising it's lifetime achievements.

The Annual Reports and Account are now available on this site.

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Policies, Papers, Reviews and Studies

Here is a miscellany of press releases issued in conection with some of the policies, papers, reviews and studies which issued from the Corporation over the years. Sadly many of the reports and other material referred to in these releases are not now readily available. There may be copies in the LDDC archive at Milton Keynes.


It is important to note that while within its area the LDDC took over from the three Boroughs the power to decide applications for planning permission (development control) it was not the plan making authority - this function remained with the Boroughs and gave rise to many problems over the years.

November 1982 - Isle of Dogs - Guide to Design and Development Opportunities
November 1982 - Development Strategy for Limehouse on Show
February 1983 - "Future for Wapping" Exhibition Opens
January 1985 - Rebirth of the Royals
September 1986 - Docklands - The Next Five Years
April 1988 - Important New Development Brief Launched in Surrey Docks
June 1988 - Urban Design Briefs Issued for the Royal Docks
August 1989 - New Plan for London's Royal Docks
May 1991 - LDDC: The Driving Force Behind Building Conservation
June 1991 - London Docklands Sets out Standards on Building Accessibility

February 1992 - LDDC Vision for the Royal Docks
March 1993 - Water, Water Everywhere (Design Guide)
March 1993 - Strong Support for Action on East Thames Corridor and Channel Tunnel Rail Link
January 1994 - New Study Shows that Key River Crossings are Needed to Maintain Development Progress in Docklands
April 1994 - Exhibition Centre for the Royal Docks

For more on the LDDC's planning function see the Corporation's Planning Monograph

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Here is a selction of other releases about policies, papers, reviews and studies outside the Corporation's planning remit.

January 1982 - Investment in Docklands Job Creation say Nigel Broackes
May 1983 - Ten Year Task for a Regenerated Docklands
June 1983 - LDDC Plans for Rehabilitation of Housing Stock
June 1986 - Vital New Roads for Docklands get go-ahead from the Corporation Board
December 1986 Docklands - A New Tourism Opportunity
September 1988 - London Docklands Housing Review
January 1989 - Docklands will have the Best Transport System in the UK
June 1989 - Public Accounts Committee Report on Urban Development Corporations
October 1989 - New Social Housing Strategy Unveiled
November 1989 - Childcare in Docklands - Making it Happen
November 1989 - Government Announces £359 Million Extra Grant for Docklands
October 1990 - Basic Skills Boost Planned for London Docklands
January 1991 - Faith and Economic Focus on London Docklands
March 1991 - Transport Transformation in London Docklands
July 1991 - LDDC Launches Report on Special Training Needs
November 1991 - Strategy Points the Way Forward for Basic Skills Training in Docklands
November 1991 - London Docklands: More Jobs, More Training, Unemployment Rate Falls
December 1991 - Study Commissioned to Plan Ahead for Docklands Social Services
February 1992 - Tourists Give Thumbs Up to London Docklands
January 1993 - Study Reveals Way Ahead for Docklands Social Services Providers
February 1993 - Docklands Keeps Jobs in London
April 1994 - New Survey Highlights Challenge of Modern Language Teaching in Docklands
December 1994 - Surveys Highlight Residents and Businesses Views of London Docklands
March 1995 - Survey Reveals Tourism Boost in London Docklands
March 1995 - Thumbs-up from Locals for LDDC

There is more information on some of these subjects in the LDDC's Employment, Community and Housing monographs

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Enterprise Zone

Part of the LDDC's area on the Isle of Dogs was designated as an Enterprise Zone in 1982. These releases outline the story:

April 1982 - Enterprise Zone Sites on Offer
April 1982 - London's Enterprise Zone Designated
May 1982 - Chancellor of Exchequer Opens LEZ
September 1991 - London Docklands Enterprise Zone Still Offers Special Benefits for Investors
May 1992 - London Docklands Enterprise Zones Ends


Canary Wharf

This development came to dominate much of the LDDC's programme and is a centre piece of the Docklands development. But it was not without its problems:

October 1985 - Corporation Board committed to achieving Canary Wharf financial centre development
July 1986 - Preliminary Work to Start on Canary Wharf
November 1986 - West Ferry Circus Planning Application to be sent to the Secretary of State
March 1987 - Planning Approval for West Ferry Circus
July 1987 - LDDC Signs Canary Wharf Master Building Agreement
May 1992 - LDDC Statement on Olympia and York
June 1992 - LDDC Positive about the Future of London Docklands - Canary Wharf and Jubilee Line
October 1995 - LDDC Welcomes Canary Wharf Sale Agreement
December 1995 - LDDC Welcomes Canary Wharf Sale as Docklands Lettings Top 1 Million Sq Feet

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Docklands Light Railway

One of the LDDC's earliest aspirations was the creation of a rapid rail system linking the City with the Isle of Dogs. It is now a much larger operation. These releases provide a hint of the LDDC's part inthe DLR's development and growth. Between 1992 and 1998 the DLR was a subsidiary of the LDDC.

October 1982 - Rapid Rail System for Docklands Approved
October 1982 -Rapid Rail System for Docklands
April 1983 - Docklands Newsletter Launched
August 1984 -Riding into the Future
November 1984 - Environment Secretary to Start Work on Docklands Light Railway
September 1985 - New City Rail Link to Docklands Proposed
December 1986 - DLR Bill Signals Major Tourism Initiative in Docklands
July 1989 - DLR Beckton Extension Plans Unveiled
August 1989 - New Trains Ordered for Docklands Light Railway
August 1989 - DLR Contractor Named
December 1989 - Mowlem-Taylor Woodrow Joint Venture Wins Contract for Beckton Extension
November 1990 - Lewisham Extension "Excellent News" for London Docklands
November 1991 - LDDC Welcomes Proposal for Change of Control Over the DLR
April 1992 - Change of ownership for Docklands Light Railway
January 1994 - New Chairman for Docklands Light Railway
January 1994 - £1m Facelift for South Quay Station
February 1994 - Consultation Starts on Possible Deletion of Cutty Sark and Island Gardens Stations on New DLR Lewisham Extension
October 1994 - Docklands Light Railway - Lewisham Extension - Press Statement
June 1995 - On the Right Track in London Docklands
September 1996 - Deputy Prime Minister to Start Work on DLR Lewisham Extension

For more information visit the LDDC's Transport monograph and the DLR's website

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London City Airport

The Airport was another early flagship project strongly supported by LDDC. It was a private sector venture by John Mowlem and Co plc. Until it acquired it's present name in 1987 the development was know as the Docklands Stolport - a city centre airport for short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft. The present owner, Irish entrepreneur Dermot Desmond, acquired the Airport from Mowlem in 1995.

August 1982 -Airport Feasibility Study indicates 4200-500 jobs for Docklands
October 1982 - Majority of Newham Residents Favour Stolport
April 1983 - Docklands Stolport
August 1984 - Stolport Announcement
May 1985 - LDDC Welcomes Government Go-ahead for Royal Docks Stolport
February 1986 - London's Stolport Given Go-ahead
May 1986 - Prince Charles Visits London Docklands and Lays Foundation Stone of London City Airport
September 1991 - London Docklands Jubilant Over Major Inquiry Decisions
October 1995 - LDDC Welcomes City Airport's New Owner
January 1998 - Secretary of State Reviews Plans to Increase Flights from London City Airport

For more about the Airport visit the website of the London City Airport Consultative Committee

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Limehouse Link

This 1.8 km two-lane dual carriageway "cut and cover" tunnel was built to open up access to the Isle of Dogs, and especially Canary Wharf, from the west. Its impact was dramatically to improve perceptions of access to the Docklands and thus to kick-start a reversal in the fortunes of the area following the recession of the early 1990s.

The Tunnel - which took just seven years to plan, design and build - runs from The Highway at its junction with Butchers Row to West Ferry Road on the Isle of Dogs and on to link with the new Poplar Link (Aspen Way). It is thus the westernmost section of the Docklands Highways linking with Aspen Way, the East India Dock Link, the Lower Lea Crossing, North Woolwich Road, the Connaught Crossing, Royal Albert Way and Royal Docks Road to provide a good road link across Docklands to the A13/A406 junction at the eastern end of the Corporation's area.

The road cost £359.4 million including the rehousing of 200 families at a cost of £66.1m. As part of the Accord agreement with Tower Hamlets Council the Corporation spent another £35 million on a programme of social, economic and community projects and rehoused a further 355 households at a cost of £89.1 million as part of a wider regeneration programme for the Limehouse area.

July 1998 - Planning Approval for Limehouse Link Scheme
September 1988 - Limehouse Link Inquiry Scheduled
October 1988 - Limehouse Link Inquiry Opens
December 1988 - Limehouse Link to Tender
June 1989 - Government Approval for Limehouse Link
September 1989 - Balfour Beatty and Fairclough win Limehouse Link Contract
November 1989 - Prime Minister Drives the First Pile of the £220 Limehouse Link
June 1990 - Road Closure as Limehouse Link Progresses
June 1991 - Limehouse Link to Docklands - Taking Shape and on Schedule
February 1992 - LDDC Restructures Limehouse Link Management Organisation
April 1992 - LDDC Announces Limehouse Link Public Art Competition
May 1992 - New Minister Counts Down to Tunnel Opening
June 1992 - Limehouse Link Public Art Competition
July 1992 - Limehouse Link Public Art Commission Finalists Announced
October 1992 - Black Convoy Travels Through the Limehouse Link
March 1993 - Limehouse Link Sculptures Craned into Place
April 1993 - London's Largest Public Sculpture Now in Place in Docklands
May 1993 - Limehouse Link Opens for Traffic on 17th May 1993
May 1993 - Fun Packed Limehouse Link Community Day on Saturday May 15th
May 1993 - Prime Minister Opens Limehouse Link
October 1993 - Limehouse Link Wins Construction Industry Top Award
June 1992 - National Audit Office - Limehouse Link
October 1997 - Commission for the New Towns in the Driving Seat

For more on the Limehouse Link see the LDDC's Transport and Engineering monographs - the latter monograph includes an engineering case study on the Limehouse Link. The Commission for the New Towns remained responsible for the Limehouse Link until 2000 when it was taken over by the new Mayor of London who manages it through Street Management at Transport for London

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Other Docklands Roads

For more on the LDDC's roads programme see their Transport and Engineering monographs

Lower Lea Crossing

June 1988 - Lower Lea Inquiry Scheduled
July 1989 - Lower Lea Crossing for Tender
January 1990 - Contract Award for Lower Lea Crossing
May 1990 - Colin Moynihan Drives Foundation Piles for Lower Lea Crossing
May 1990 - Foundations Laid for Lower Lea Crossing
February 1991 - Malcolm Rifkind at Docklands Big Lift
June 1991 - New Bridge to be Erected as part of Lower Lea Crossing Works
December 1991 - Heseltine Opens Lower Lea Crossing Three Months Early
December 1991 - Freeman Opens Lower Lea Crossing

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Tower Hamlets

September 1982 - New £2m Road Scheme for Isle of Dogs
September 1988 - Leaflet about Isle of Dogs Road Improvements
September 1988 - Poplar Link Highway Scheme referred to Secretary of State
September 1988 - Improvements proposed for Enterprise Zone Roads
June 1989 - Poplar Link Inquiry Scheduled
August 1989 - Contract Award for Docklands Road Scheme
November 1989 - LDDC Chief Executive to Open New Route to the A13
April 1990 - Government Approval for Poplar Link
August 1990 - West India Dock Road Widening - £1.7m Contract Awarded
November 1990 - LDDC Awards East India Dock Tunnel/Prestons Road Flyover Contract
June 1993 - Limehouse Causeway Link Road Completed

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Royal Docks

April 1986 - New Road Links Docklands with Britain's Motorways
March 1998 - Major Contract Let for New Roads in the Royal Docks
September 1989 - Docklands Linked to the National Motorway Network
December 1989 - Bridge Floats in for New Road Link
February 1990 - Chris Patten Swings into Action in London Docklands
April 1990 - 550 Tonne Bascule Bridge Lifted into Position

Surrey Docks

November 1986 - Major Road Improvements for Surrey Docks in London Docklands

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Tower Hamlets Accord

The LDDC/Tower Hamlets Accord, signed in June 1988, secured the cooperation of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the construction of the Limehouse Link. This involved the re-housing of a large number of the Council's tenants in Limehouse. To manage this process as smothly as possible, and to give the tenants real choice in their re-housing, the two bodies set up a Joint Housing Task Force which operated until December 1990 when there was a ceremony to mark the successful completion of the programme.

The Accord also provided for the LDDC to spend £35million on a programme of social, economic and community projects. This programme was completed before the life of the Corporation came to end in 1998.

June 1988 - Accord Agreed by Tower Hamlets and Corporation
October 1988 - Joint Housing Task Force Opens for Business
December 1990 - Ceremony Marks Official Completion of UK's Largest Rehousing Programme

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Newham Memorandum of Agreement

The Tower Hamlets Accord was preceded in 1987 by a similar agreement with the London Brough of Newham aimed at facilitating the large scale consortia schemes schemes for the Royal Docks which dominated the agenda in the 1980s. The agreement included a social housing target of 1500 homes and a package of employment, education, training and social and community projects. In the event the consortia schemes foundered in the recession of the early 1990s but other schemes emerged and the Agreement was substantially delivered.

August 1987 - LDDC and London Borough of Newham to Negotiate Memorandum of Agreement over Royal Docks Developments
September 1987 - Social and Community Benefits for Newham Docklands Residents

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Primary Healthcare

The LDDC was anxious that the primary healthcare facilities throughout its area should be both modern and adequate to meet the healthcare needs of the growing population of the area. In November 1989 Dr Penny Bevan, a consultant in public health medicine, was seconded by the three health authorities which then covered the Docklands area to work with the Corporation in drawing up a healthcare programme in which the LDDC invested considerable resources. The programme was substantially delivered by the time the Corporation was wound up in 1998. Not all of the primary healthcare schemes in which the Corporation partcipated feature among it's press releases.

May 1991 - Minister Launches New Health Leaflet for London Docklands
May 1992 - "Medics" Star Opens Refurbished Wapping Health Centre
July 1993 - New Centre boosts Mental Healthcare in Tower Hamlets
August 1993 - Island Health Centre - Award of Contract
August 1993 - Veteran Health Visitor Re-opens Refurbished Inner City Health Centre
May 1994 - Poplar to Get New Health Centre
April 1995 - Casualty Star to Open Island Health
April 1995 - New Wave" Health Centre Boosts Services on the Isle of Dogs
May 1995 - "New Wave" Health Centre Boosts Services on the Isle of Dogs
April 1996 - Health Secretary to open new Docklands Health Centre
May 1996 - Health Minister Updates Businesses on Disablity Legislation
May 1996 - Health Minister Celebrates Redevelopment of Docklands Health Centre

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West Silvertown Urban Village

These press releases deal with Phase One of what the LDDC knew as the West Silvertown "urban village", a ground breaking concept of a development where residents would live and work in the same place. Now largely complete, Phase One is known as Britannia Village. Although LDDC sought to market the land for Phase Two of the scheme in March 1997 it was unable to complete the transaction before its winding up in 1998. The land passed then first to English Partnerships and then to the London Development Agency. Eight years on work on the Phase Two site - now known as Silvertown Quays - has still to start.

November 1993 - Royal Docks Development Project Gets Government Backing (Urban Village)
January 1994 - LDDC Announce 'Urban Village' Competition
March 1994 - New Urban Village Launched by John Gummer MP, Secretary of State for the Environment
April 1994 - Developers Unveil Housing Plans for West Silvertown Urban Village
April 1994 - Finalists Selected for West Silvertown Urban Village
July1994 - Wimpey Wins in West Silvertown
July1995 - Wimpey Signs for West Silvertown Urban Village
October 1995 LDDC Select Lifschutz Davidson Design for the Royal Dock Footbridge
April 1996 - New Social Housing Secured in West Silvertown Urban Village
November 1996 - Environment Secretary Marks Progress at Urban Village
November 1996 - Environment Secretary Marks Start of Work on New Homes at Urban Village
March 1997 - West Silvertown Urban Village Phase II on the Market
May 1997 - Bishop of Barking Visits West Silvertown Urban Village

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Surrey Quays

In many ways the regeneration of the Surrey Docks was the best planned of the LDDC's operations and the award winning result is attractive and well worth seeing. The key to the site was the former dock area owned by the London Borough of Southwark who by 1981 had already filled most of the basins as the first step in preparing them for development. The vesting of this so-called "Southwark Site" in the Corporation was controversial.

April 1983 - LDDC announces Plans for Controversial Surrey Docks Site
April 1983 - LDDC Announces Intentions for Greenland and Surrey Docks Sites
June 1983 - New Proposals for Southwark Site
November 1983 - LDDC Southwark Site Consultation
November 1983 - Southwark Site Proposals
November 1984 - Start of Major Infrastructure works for Surrey Quays
March 1985 - Tesco to Develop Shopping Centre in Docklands
April 1988 - Important New Development Brief Launched in Surrey Docks
May 1988 - Marina Brief Heads-up New Development Ideas for South Dock Harbour
September 1988 - Development Team Selected for South Dock Harbour
October 1988 - National Recognition for Greenland Dock
October 1988 - Local Developer chosen for Island Yard
October 1988 - New Shops and Jobs at Surrey Quays in London Docklands
February 1989 - Jacobs Island Company and Olympia and York Chosen for Surrey Quays Phase II
December 1989 - RTPI Highly Commends London Docklands' Greenland Dock
February 1990 - Surrey Quays Faculty of Building's Edwin Williams Memorial Award
April 1990 First International Hotel Chain for London Docklands
February 1992 - The Surrey Docks Opportunity
March 1995 - Developer Selected for Docklands Retail Scheme
October 1995 - Surrey Quays Town Centre Takes Shape

For more information see the LDDC's Completion Booklet for the Surrey Docks.

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ExCel London

The LDDC's earliest plans for the Royal Docks included a major exhibition Centre on the site to the north of the Royal Victoria Dock. The consortia schemes of the 1980s, all of which foundered in the recession of the early 1990s, included a large scale scheme known as the Londondome. As the market recovered the proposal for an exhibition centre was revived and the early history of what became the ExCel scheme is recorded in these press releases. It will be seen that it took time to choose a developer and to work-up and finance the scheme and it was not until January 1998 that the project finally got the green light.  The Centre opened in November 2000.

June 1993 - Major Exhibition Venue to be Developed in the Royals
February 1994 - New Exhibition Centre Proposed for London Docklands
April 1994 - Exhibition Centre for the Royal Docks
June 1994 - Developers Shortlisted for Royals Exhibition Centre
October 1994 - Bids in for Royal Docks Exhibition Centre
December 1994 - Plans for London's New International Exhibition Centre Advance
August 1995 - London's New Exhibition Centre to Create More than 14,000 New Jobs
January 1998 - Go-Ahead for London's New International Exhibition Centre

ExCeL London has proved a major driving force for hotel development in East London. There are no less than eight on-site hotels provided by Holiday Inn, Travel Inn Capital, Howard Johnson, Ramada, Ibis and Novotel as well as the Custom House & Quality Hotel and the Fox Apartments.

In December 2002 there was a restructuring of the organisation and the following month details were announced of a refinancing package under which ExCel London's majority shareholder, Visionary Properties, provided £25m of equity in return for a 75.1% voting stake.#

Fo more information vist ExCel's website

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University of East London - Docklands Campus

A glance through the Index of Press Releases demonstrates very clearly the LDDC's commitment to improved education and training in its area - this was seen as essential if local people were to be able to participate in the new economy which flowed from the regeneration of the area under LDDC auspices. Although it was not an education authority it nonetheless devoted a considerable proportion of its budget to investment in education and training.

For many years it was keen to establish a higher education college within its area and towards the end of its life worked hard with a consortium of providers and its successors to secure a University College in the Royal Docks. These releases tell the story.

September 1994 - Docklands University College in Bid for Government Funding
December 1994 - Statement - Royals University College and SRB Funding
May 1995 - Royals Campus Will Boost East London Regeneration
July 1995 - Docklands Campus Drawings Unveiled as Private Sector Gives Backing
December 1995 - Government to Fund Technology Centre - Royals University College One Step Nearer
January 1997 - Outline Planning Consent for Docklands University Campus

The University of East London's new campus admitted its first students at the start of the academic year 1999 although it was officially opened by London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, on July 4th 2000. It features accommodation for 400 students and facilities for 5,000 students studying design, technology, engineering, arts, humanities and social sciences. A key component of the University is the Thames Gateway Technology Centre a one-stop training facility for new and existing companies in the east of London. The Centre provides business start-up space and advice, and a technology resource centre. At the time of writing in 2005 work was in progress further to expand the Royals campus.

For more information about UEL's Docklands Campus visit their website

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Completing the Remit

Alone among the first wave of English Urban Development Corporations the LDDC took advantage of the new powers in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 to allow it to withdraw from its area by stages. The process started with the the Corporation's withdrawal from Bermondsey Riverside on 31st October 1994 and ended with the Royal Docks on 31st March 1998.

October 1994 - LDDC Hands on to Southwark Council the Regneration of Bermondsey Riverside
September 1995 - LDDC and Newham Council Sign Agreement on Beckton
December 1995 - LDDC Completes Regeneration Remit in Beckton
December 1996 - LDDC Completes Regeneration Remit in Surrey Docks
January 1997 - LDDC Completes Regeneration Remit in Wapping and Limehouse
January 1997 - LDDC and Tower Hamlets Sign Agreement on Wapping and Limehouse
July 1997 - Urban Change - The Inside Stories Behind London Docklands*
July 1997 - LDDC to Complete Remit on Isle of Dogs on 10th October 1997
July 1997 - Docklands Community Foundation to Receive £2m
September 1997 - LDDC Hands Business Centre Back to Newham
October 1997 - Commission for the New Towns in the Driving Seat
October 1997 - LDDC Completes Remit on Isle of Dogs and South Poplar
October 1997 - LDDC Completes Remit on Isle of Dogs and South Poplar
October 1997 - £2.25 Million Secured Towards Community Needs
December 1997 - London Docklands Bows Out With Records Lettings
February 1998 - LDDC Press Office Closes on 31 March 1998
February 1998 - LDDC Visitor Centre Closes this Week
March 1998 - LDDC Winds Up - Successor Bodies take Forward Regeneration
March 1998 - Thumbs-up from Locals for LDDC
March 1998 - End of an Era and New Beginnings for Docklands
March 1998 - An Era Ends with New Beginings in London Docklands

* The publications referred to in this release are among the monographs reproduced on this site

See also the LDDC's Regeneration Statement and Completion Booklets and the notes about the Corporation's successor bodies.

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