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Mayor Boris turns down Ilford Town Centre bid for £1.7million

PUBLISHED: 16:47 23 January 2012 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 January 2012

Neil Davis

Neil Davis

Archant

A hammer blow has been delivered to Ilford Town Centre with the news it will not receive a penny of funding from the Mayor of London, meaning a host of proposed projects will now not happen.

Boris Johnson’s Outer London Fund distributed £32million last week to outer London boroughs seeking a boost to their high streets and cash to “improve lives”, but Redbridge has been left out in the cold.

Ilford Town Centre applied for more than £1.7million of funding to deliver a host of projects.

But despite City Hall having the option of awarding the town centre with some of that overall bid, no money has been awarded.

Town centre manager Neil Davis said: “Ilford deserves a helping hand. It’s bitterly disappointing.”

One of the proposed schemes would have seen the town centre become a Wi-Fi hotspot, while another would have seen the formation of a business academy, giving workers a chance to develop their customer service skills and hone their personal development.

Mr Davis said: “As bitterly disappointing as this news is, it does have a deeper resonance because the schemes that we proposed can only be developed and delivered with the Outer London Fund monies in the current economic climate.”

Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Waltham Forest have all received funding for at least one scheme

Mr Davis said he will still strive to make the business academy happen, but other proposals including new street lighting in the pedestrianised area, which would have included coloured LED lights for special occasions, will be put on ice.

Mr Davis said: “I’ve seen a lot of funding applications over the years and this was one of the best I have ever seen.

“But I think the reason we did not get any funding is because of Crossrail.

“Ilford is earmarked as a Crossrail station and it will bring benefits, but it’s still a long way off.”

He added “The London Borough of Redbridge have requested further information to be provided and a meeting to be held, at which the Outer London Commission, which administers the fund, can answer our questions directly.”

A funding bid to regenerate a part of High Street, Barkingside was also turned down.

It would have seen a new public square in front of Fullwell Cross Library and the neighbouring swimming pool.


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