Council offers update on regeneration projects at Ilford BID webinar

Redbridge head of regeneration speaks about progress of various Ilford projects

Redbridge Council's Head of Regeneration Sharon Strutt spoke at a recent Ilford BID webinar about the progress of the area's various projects. - Credit: Mercato Metropolitano

The head of regeneration at Redbridge Council has offered an update on a number of ongoing projects in Ilford.

Speaking at a webinar held by Ilford BID last Wednesday (February 24), Sharon Strutt spoke about five schemes, alongside expanding on the recent news that the council has been given a booster grant by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

1. Public Realm Transformation 

This project - due for completion by August - aims to transform the town centre through measures such as granite paving, energy efficient street lighting and children's play spaces, as well as improve accessibility for all.

Workers are also putting in pop-up electrical supplies for market stalls, with these also intended to make the area event-ready.

2. New ‘Green’ Market 

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This market, for which a tender is to begin in June, will attract 30-40 stalls to a new eco-friendly space. To be managed by an experienced operator, the market will prioritise green innovation and local entrepreneurship. All being well, it will open by December.

3. The Spark - Mercato Ilford

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Despite the pandemic causing delays to construction, contractors Mercato Metropolitano (MM) are looking at an anticipated completion date of July. 

The council's business and enterprise team is working alongside DreaMM - an MM initiative - to support two budding entrepreneurs into trading.

Ilford projects have received extra funding from the GLA

Ms Strutt confirmed the award of extra GLA funding, designed to reflect Ilford setting an example with its projects intended to boost the area. - Credit: Tim Bowditch

4. The Spark – SPACE studios 

After celebrating its first year of residence at the town hall, this artists' hub is home to a number of ongoing initiatives.

Amongst these is the recent installation of a Sahra Hersi billboard commission, the Zene project with artist Tamu Nkiwane (led by local children), and an online gallery tour of 'Lindsey Medick: Regrets, I've had a few'.

5. Art in Ilford 

There are two areas for granite engravings as part of the public realm work, with local artist Sahra to help young people create the designs by the end of March or beginning of April. The artworks of Ben Eine and Dotmasters are on display on Janice Mews.

The area's regeneration has been boosted by a recent £500,000 award from the GLA, which added this to its earlier grant of £1.8million in recognition of Ilford being an "exemplar for the high street recovery mission".

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