Back On Track

About Back On Track

Back on Track is the name of our National Lottery Heritage Fund project application.   

In June 2022, we secured £340,050 from the Fund to develop our proposals further until February 2024 when we plan to submit a second stage application that will potentially unlock £3.4M to reinvigorate the Riverside Station from 2024.

Over the next 18 months, we will be working with a range of partners, specialists and community to develop the proposals. You may wish to have a look at the opportunities on offer here.

Project Summary

This project summary was provided to the Heritage Fund within our first stage application:

‘Back on Track’ will culminate a joint community and commercial effort to restore and celebrate the Grade II* Tilbury Cruise Terminal, anchoring Tilbury’s position as the fulcrum of the Thames Estuary.  Drawing on our rich and multi-faceted maritime history, ‘Back on Track’ will transform how we feel about our town and ourselves, engage and involve more people in our story whilst broadening and diversifying participation as we forge the history of the future.  We have made nationally significant contributions to our collective story before.  We are ready to do it again.

Housed in a reinvigorated Grade II* Riverside Station with new café, heritage, creative and event spaces, our project will draw inspiration from our past.  As Queen Elizabeth I once galvanised support in Tilbury through her ‘heart and stomach of a king’ speech, we will mobilise the next generation through learning, skills and volunteering opportunities. 

We will also thoughtfully reflect on our contemporary community heritage through events, interpretation and community grant making.  As the arrival point of the Empire Windrush, Tilbury must be central to national conversations about our multicultural identity as we approach the 75th and 80th anniversary of Windrush in 2023 and 2028.  Tilbury can be a proud stage to celebrate the contributions of immigrants to our diverse society. 

‘Back on Track’ will also look to Tilbury’s future as London’s Freeport, connecting us through trade ‘by Thames to all peoples of the world’.  The new Riverside café will connect land-based audiences and cruise liner and ferry passengers to the River.  Port of Tilbury support will ensure pathways to skills, training and employment are available to help individuals get their own lives ‘Back on Track’.

Tilbury deserves some love.  Even before the pandemic, 60% of our neighbours were classed as amongst the most deprived in England.  Fewer than 1 in 3 of us have a qualification with our young people out of work rising from 5% to 11% between March and October 2020.  However, we have tremendous opportunities that will reinforce ‘Back on Track’ and ensure lasting, positive change. 

Back on Track forms part of a fundamental change to Tilbury.  The expansion of the Port and confirmation of Freeport status ensures a robust Port backing for our project, whilst the development of a Thames Clipper service from Tilbury will increase access from river-based audiences in addition to a reviving cruise business.  The proposed Lower Thames Crossing will expand our catchment south of the River Thames.  The confirmation of a Towns Fund award provides a once in a generation opportunity for match funding and complementary enhancements that strengthen ‘Back on Track’.