He could make a obvious start in Thanet by overseeing the reopening of Manston Airport.
Lord Heseltine will launch a new body of world-leading experts today tasked with boosting the economy around north Kent.
“This commission presents a wonderful opportunity, not only to make the most of plans already afoot, but to look beyond that and forge ahead with a vision to unleash growth for decades to come…” – Lord Heseltine
The Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission will be unveiled at the Olympic Park in Stratford promising to “unleash growth for decades to come”.
The organisation, led by the former deputy prime minister, aims to boost productivity and attract skilled workers to the 40 mile stretch from Canary Wharf to Southend and Thanet.
The commission, which was announced in the last Budget, will consult with businesses before submitting plans to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement next year.
In a speech at the London Aquatics Centre, Mr Heseltine will say: “This government is determined to ensure every part of the country benefits from a growing economy and all the evidence suggests that the Thames Estuary has incredible economic potential.
“This commission presents a wonderful opportunity, not only to make the most of plans already afoot, but to look beyond that and forge ahead with a vision to unleash growth for decades to come.
“We have brought together world-leading industry experts and would urge others with an interest in the region and good ideas to now come forward and contribute.”
The Thames Estuary region has a population of more than three million people and already includes projects like the creation of a garden city at Ebbsfleet, the planned Lower Thames Crossing and will be part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone.
However, it has also been the site of many failed regeneration projects, most notably plans to build an airport on the Isle of Grain.
The project, dubbed Boris Island after being championed by the former London mayor, is not supported by the new Prime Minister Theresa May, who is also opposed to the expansion of Heathrow.
Lord Heseltine has overseen some of Britain’s most successful regeneration projects like London Docklands and Liverpool City Centre.
A team of 17 experts will sit on the commission and will accept submissions from businesses until midday on Friday, September 9. Submissions should be emailed to ThamesEstuary@communities.gsi.gov.uk.
The areas within scope of the Commission’s remit are Canterbury, Dartford, Gravesham, Medway, Swale and Thanet.
It also covers the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Havering, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets and the Essex councils of Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock.
More details available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/lord-heseltine-thames-estuary-plan-to-unleash-growth-for-decades-to-come