The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced a £50m fund to boost regeneration and rejuvenate outer London town centres not likely to benefit from Crossrail or the Olympics.
The Mayor’s Office says that the fund “will revitalise projects or get new schemes off the ground at exactly the right time for communities concerned about the future”. The money is intended to support the establishment of local business districts, and the improvement of retail, leisure, culture and arts provision.
The fund aims to stimulate economic growth in London’s network of outer London town centres, by specifically targetting those boroughs which benefit less directly from the 2012 Games and Crossrail.
Boris Johnson, said: “This fund is a vital shot in the arm for our town centres and just the help needed to get new projects off the ground that wouldn’t otherwise happen. I am delighted that after months of hard negotiations (with Government) we have secured a significant pot of money to help projects really motor and we now have the means to nurture developments, increase work and leisure opportunities and make futures bright. It is vital we address the historic neglect of the outer boroughs that preceded this mayoralty and this is one of the ways we can start delivering growth.”
“What we know through the work we have already done with the Outer London Commission, is that one of the greatest economic assets provided by the outer boroughs is the quality of life afforded to residents. We are talking about the places people call home – the communities they care about, the commercial centres where they shop, where their kids play where they meet friends or spend time with families. These places are the very beating heart of communities and also offer great economic wealth that needs to be fully tapped into.”
Those boroughs that qualify will be able to bid for a slice of the fund to enable regeneration schemes at a tipping point to go ahead.
The Mayor’s Outer London Commission will now test and advise on how the bidding process will work including criteria for potential bidders. The Outer London Commission includes representatives from public voluntary and private sectors and is advised by experts in architecture, economics, business, local communities and development.