Mayor of London launches new fund to help local communities drive Covid recovery

​Communities across London will be able to access a share of £500,000 to help them recover from the Covid-19 pandemic under a new fund launched today by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

From securing new uses for vacant high street shops to creating new walking routes, Make London will support the delivery of a range of recovery projects led by the city’s communities. The initiatives will help improve public spaces, support community hubs and town centres, promote grass-roots culture and bring people together safely.

Open to Londoners, mutual aid groups, charities, business improvement districts and social enterprises, the scheme will use the well-established crowdfunding model – this also enables groups to secure additional funding from other bodies including local authorities, private companies, and a range of voluntary and philanthropic organisations.

Smaller-scale projects will be able to pitch for support up to £5,000, while larger initiatives will be eligible for as much as £50,000. The money will be drawn from Sadiq’s £6.6 million Recovery Fund, which is part of his wider work to support London’s long-term recovery from the impact of coronavirus.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Coronavirus has had an impact on every Londoner and every area of our city, often with lower-income and ethnically diverse communities the hardest hit.

“We’ve already seen an incredible response to this challenging time from Londoners of all backgrounds. I firmly believe it is our communities who have the most innovative ideas on how to emerge from the pandemic and bring our city together.

“Creativity flows through London and it will get us through this crisis. That’s why I’m proud to launch this new fund which will allow Londoners to play a vital role in helping their local areas recover and tackle the inequalities which exist in the capital.”

Mellezia, visual artist and Director of The RENA Initiative – which was supported though Culture Seeds – said: “With a grant from the Mayor of London we launched ‘The Women of White City (WoWC)’ project to reduce loneliness and improve the mental health and wellbeing of socially isolated, unemployed and older women in my community.

“Our intergenerational painting workshops create a fun, safe and inclusive environment where women from diverse cultures can form meaningful friendships. This grant has helped us to access further funding opportunities and expand services to deliver online and offline activities to marginalised communities across London.”

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