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Ilford business manager says cultural quarter plans could ‘reactivate’ town centre

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 March 2018

Lumiere London's Umbrella Project in Ilford High Road, a group dance involving bright lit LED umbrellas. Picture: Dharam Sahdev

Lumiere London's Umbrella Project in Ilford High Road, a group dance involving bright lit LED umbrellas. Picture: Dharam Sahdev

Archant

Ilford Business bosses have welcomed the news that a £5million cultural quarter looks set to regenerate Ilford town centre.

Redbridge Council officially unveiled the Spark project this week – a scheme that hopes to transform the historic Town Hall and the area around it into a new cultural quarter.

It will be part-funded by a £1.8m grant from the Mayor of London.

And Ben Collins, manager of the Ilford Business Improvement District (BID), says the artistic endeavour could reinvigorate the high street.

He told the Recorder: “It’s a really good time to be in Ilford, the Spark will reactivate the town centre and improve its leisure offering in innovative new ways.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this will be the death knell of the town centre’s retail industry, but something that has become clear in recent years is that in the future town centre’s are going to have to find other ways of convincing people to spend time there.”

With the Harrison Gibson building being redeveloped, Crossrail coming and heavy investment in The Exchange Shopping Centre, Mr Collins says Ilford is being put on the map.

He said: “These are savvy investors who don’t spend large sums of money without doing their homework – their involvement is a really good sign.”

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