Further cash boost to help Redbridge recover from Covid-19 impact

Kam Rai

Deputy leader Kam Rai set forward a further £5m the council plans to invest to kickstart the Covid recovery. - Credit: Archant

Redbridge Council will invest a further £5million to support residents and businesses in their effort to recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.

In an effort to mitigate the hardships caused by the pandemic, the council is investing £1.6m over three years in its Work Redbridge service to provide intensive employment advice and support to residents to get them back into work.

The authority also plans to invest £2.5m in flexible, affordable workspace schemes and establish a £250,000 High Streets improvement fund to kick-start recovery.

Other proposals include investment of £600,000 in a business recovery programme and the completion of the Spark project, which aims to rejuvenate Ilford town centre.

The proposals were approved in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, March 16.

Deputy leader Kam Rai said: "For many of us, the last year has been one of the most difficult we've ever experienced.

"Many people have lost loved ones and struggled financially, which is why we're committed to investing in the borough and supporting our communities to overcome the impact of Covid-19. 

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"We want every person to have the support they need not just to survive, but thrive. That is why we are putting forward recommendations to invest in people and businesses in the borough. The recovery starts now."

The proposed dedicated workspaces will be through the conversion of Queen Victoria House in Barkingside and the development of a purpose-built business and enterprise hub as part of the Seven Kings Redbridge Living scheme.

The £1.6m which is being invested in the Work Redbridge scheme is to help target the estimated 3,160 people who are furthest from the labour market.  

The council is also looking at ways to incentivise new responsible businesses into the borough.

As one of the borough's largest employers, it is going to recruit all suitable jobs at pay scale six or below through Work Redbridge as a first channel for recruitment, as well as boosting its apprenticeship offer. 

The cabinet approvals follow more than £60m in government business grants awarded and more than £500,000 funding to boost the regeneration of Ilford town centre and the safe reopening of the high streets.

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