OLF cash coming to West London

Boris Johnson’s Outer London Fund has announced the distribution of funds to boroughs, with significant amounts heading west.

The Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund has awarded its second tranche of £50 million to 18 outer London boroughs. When added to the £70m for the riot regeneration fund, and the £57m match funding from other private and public sector partners, it adds to £177m investment in outer London.

The money is intended to boost local high streets, and deliver growth and new jobs, says the Mayor. It is spread across boroughs and 23 schemes.

West London beneficiaries include  Harrow Metropolitan Town Centre – where around £3 million will produce a new town park with a permanent multi-use performance space, plus improvements to town centre access and business support measures including an empty shops initiative and the creation of a Business Improvement District.

Hounslow and Brentford town centres are get £4.8m – the largest granted to any borough in London.   The money will be spent on further improvements to two town centres, with Hounslow set to receive £2 million, and Brentford just over £1 million from the OLF, and with the council investing over £900,000 across both schemes.

Cllr Ruth Cadbury, deputy leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, said: “This is a significant boost to our plans for these town centres.”

“We’ve already done a lot in these areas, but this money will give us a chance to take on some larger projects that will make a lasting difference to the towns.”

Planned improvements for Hounslow include a new public realm initiative designed to raise standards on the High Street, and a revamp for the pedestrian area; the creation of a multifunctional events space on Bell Corner for a year-round programme including summer music festivals and winter ice skating; a new community space focussed on Holy Trinity Church; and improvements to lighting and power to improve safety and encourage more market activity.

In Brentford, the funding will be targeted on connecting the Great West Road and Brentford High Street through improving access from the Great West Road to Brentford Lock through a new cycling and pedestrian junction; signage and lighting improvements; and a launch event along the Grand Union Canal with the Royal Opera House during the Olympics.

Wandsworth gets £1.9m for Balham town centre, which will be spent on a range of activity, including improvements to the railway bridge over Balham High Road, signage and town centre publicity campaigns to drive up local trade.

Ealing will get money from the £70 million Regeneration Fund, set up to help repair the damage caused to high streets and town centres during last summer’s riots.  £7.3 million will help regenerate Southall High Street including public spaces, shop fronts and the longer term future development of the Crossrail Station creating 40 new businesses and 200 new jobs.

The package also includes rescuing a disused heritage building to create an apprentice-led restaurant and training facility. It is predicted that the restaurant will see 400 students trained annually and the up-skilling of staff from 50 local restaurants.

Brent is a partner with Barnet in a £3.7m grant for Cricklewood. The Mayor says his Regeneration Fund team is still in discussions with Ealing, Wandsworth and Hillingdon about possible further awards.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is the motor of the UK economy and prosperous local high streets are the collective beating heart. We must keep investing in our many high streets and town centres to address the historic neglect of these areas by others. Kick starting local growth is exactly what these Funds are designed to do.”

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