By Marcus Leach

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today (Wednesday) awarded almost £10 million of funding from his Outer London Fund to 20 boroughs across the capital to help them bring the buzz back to their high streets and boost their local economy.

A further £40 million from the Fund will be awarded later this year.
Set up in March, the Mayor’s Outer London Fund is a £50 million three year initiative to grow economic activity and drive employment in parts of London benefitting less directly from large-scale infrastructure investment in the capital such as Crossrail and the 2012 Games and forms part of the Mayor’s vision for bringing the best elements of the village to the city.

Up to £10 million was made available in this first round of funding with the aim of providing boroughs with immediate access to funds which they can use to increase the attractiveness and economic competitiveness of their town centres in the build up to the Christmas period and throughout the New Year.

The second round, open until October 14th, will see the allocation of up to £40 million of funding to develop longer-term projects to regenerate and rejuvenate areas ranging from a small parade of shops to town centres.

Thirty projects in 20 boroughs will benefit from the funding announced today. The largest single award, £715,000, went to Enfield Council to improve shop fronts, make use of vacant shops, create a new street market in Ponders End and refurbish street lighting and canopies. The council will also be supporting the Edmonton Green Food and Music Festival as well as contributing to the Christmas Festival lights.

Highlights from other successful bids include:

- New temporary public art outside Waterman’s Arts Centre in Brentford High Street
- Linking Magistrates Court and Market Square in Barking town centre.
- New green space at John the Baptist Church in Chipping Barnet.
- Expansion of the Green Lanes Food Festival in Haringey.
- Creation of Bromley Town Centre Heritage Trail.
- Upgrading of pavements in Barnes town centre and enhancement of Christmas lights.

“Investing in our town centres and local areas is absolutely key to maintaining London’s position as the best big city in the world," the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said.

"This cash injection means councils can start work today to attract more people into their area, boost economic growth and bring the buzz back to their high streets.

“But this is just the beginning. With up to £40m left to spend immense changes are on the horizon for some of London’s town centres, changes that will not only enhance but intensify the character, colour and identity of those places we call home.”

Daniel Moylan, Deputy Chairman of Transport for London, who is working closely with the Mayor on the Outer London Fund believes the investment will boost local economies.

“This money will provide a real boost for town centres which are suffering from the effects of a slower than expected economic recovery," he said.

"Giving councils immediate access to the funds means that they can plough ahead with their successful bids and get their areas ready to take full advantage of the Christmas period.

"An investment in our town centres is an investment in economic growth and quality of life for all Londoners and I look forward to the proposals for the second round of the Fund which are set to bring about real long-term change for centres across the capital.”

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