Plan to breathe fresh life into Ilford town centre

A 12-MONTH vision to breathe fresh life into Ilford town centre has been unveiled by bosses who say there is “still plenty of work to do”.

Town centre chiefs have overseen the introduction of a dedicated police team in the last 18 months, as well as changes to how well the shopping area is cleaned.

And while shoppers have on the whole given a thumbs up to the new look and feel of the town centre, bosses are not resting on their laurels.

A three-pronged strategy to make Ilford Town Centre the shopping hub of choice will be put into action over the next year.

Town centre manager Neil Davis said: “Cleanliness is still a concern and that is something we will be addressing in the next year.

“We will work with Rainbow International [the contractor] to see if there are areas where they can work more efficiently and more smartly.”

Mr Davis has also highlighted areas within the town centre that shoppers and businesses had told him need to be “brought up to snuff”, including areas around bus stops.

Most Read

Speaking about safety in the town centre, he said: “In the Cranbrook Road/Ilford Hill area, we had a fantastic tripartite operation where we were able to reduce antisocial behaviour by 51 per cent.

“With Stratford [Westfield] opening, we have to make sure Ilford is a welcoming place to come.”

A market research survey of Ilford Town Centre shoppers in September found a third of 100 people think the area is safer than a year ago.

Twenty-nine per cent also said the shopping area was cleaner.

Mr Davis said: “Whilst this [the work we have been doing] is clearly having an impact, and suggests that we are moving in the right direction, we recognise that there is still plenty of work to do, and our plans for 2011 include continued activity in these core areas.” As well as a focus on cleanliness and safety, work is being done on better communicating events and improvements to the area.

All the work will be implemented by the Ilford Business Improvement District, a body which encompasses 480 town centre businesses.