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Regeneration boss promises to deliver

PUBLISHED: 17:11 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 24 August 2010

THE head of a multi-million pound regeneration project has defended her actions and set down her vision after critics questioned her plans. Jackie Sadek, independent chairwoman of the South Kilburn Partnership (SKP) board, has promised she will deliv

THE head of a multi-million pound regeneration project has defended her actions and set down her vision after critics questioned her plans.

Jackie Sadek, independent chairwoman of the South Kilburn Partnership (SKP) board, has promised she will "deliver" after the scheme had been through a "rocky road".

The partnership will deliver the remainder of the New Deal for Communities (NDC) Programme in the South Kilburn area until 2011.

The project began in 2001 and was one of 39 NDCs across the country that shared £2 billion of Government funding across some of England's most deprived communities.

But the project hit a wall when the original master plan collapsed and last month The Times reported that Ms Sadek, 51, was unsure where £50million of funding had gone.

But she now feels "the only way is up" and has a clear idea of the future.

"I've come into a broken masterplan which isn't going to work any more," she said.

"It's a very large social regeneration scheme. They are always a long haul. We were in a rising market at the time. There was always a danger of becoming inflated with the planned value.

"The biggest crime you can commit in regeneration is building expectations without delivering and the market has now collapsed. But I will deliver now."

Critics feel that time is running out and the NDC programme is only due to last until 2011.

"We can't think that the remaining time of the NDC programme is the only time we have got," she said.

"We're putting in place a vehicle that can take forward the programme. We are totally committed and once we can get things moving then opportunities open up.

"The South Kilburn Neighbourhood Trust will be the legacy vehicle and it's very fit for that purpose. We're clear we can get another 500 units away within the year and that's what I've spent 15 months trying to achieve. Finally we can begin the decant and get the programme under way."

Ms Sadek said that the way forward is to change the community's mindset and she is eager to get things going.

"The vision for the future is to treat the estate as an opportunity rather than a challenge," she said.

"It's a wonderful place to be, terribly well connected to central London, really leafy - it's got everything going for it."

"There has already been much success achieved. The Granville New Homes Scheme is really superb. The interiors are delightful and they're really uplifting spaces - the sort I'd like to bring my children up in which is the acid test."

And Ms Sadek is keen to reassure the public that she is the person to realise the vision. "I know that the jury are still out on me.

"I'm quite a controversial practitioner. I'm outspoken, in your face and say what I think. How I get away with that is by delivering."

BOX

Ms Sadek's previous regeneration projects include:

London Docklands

Chiswick Park

King's Cross

White City

Paddington

Thames Gateway

Park Royal


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