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Mayor announces £20m fund to help London businesses & boost innovation
Emma Kennedy - January 25, 2016

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP has today announced 24 businesses and community groups in the capital are to benefit from a new £20m London Regeneration Fund.

The London Regeneration Fund aims to re-energise the capital’s places of work and high streets by embracing the city’s incredible talent for creativity and technological innovation. It was launched by the Mayor through the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) following a successful bid to Government in January 2015 as part of the LEP’s Growth Deal.

The Mayor revealed the successful bids while visiting the Building BloQs workshop in Edmonton which offers shared facilities for professional makers, designers and small creative businesses.

Building BloQs is already London’s largest open workshop and the £1.35m that it will receive from the London Regeneration Fund will allow it to move to a larger site, offering members the opportunity to use professional standard machinery and processing on a pay-as-you-go basis.

London’s 800,000 small and medium-sized businesses account for nearly half of the capital’s jobs and generate approximately £430bn turnover. The Mayor believes they hold the potential for much of London’s future enterprise, innovation and economic growth, but are struggling to find workspace. A key ambition for this latest round of funding was to help tackle the shortage of affordable creative workspaces and a number of the winning applications will create new spaces for artists and creative entrepreneurs.

Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association) has been awarded almost £1.8m to convert 81 underused garages and surrounding land into a new fashion hub, which will include a garment manufacturing unit and incubation space for designers. The scheme will help to provide skills and training opportunities in the local community and is being led in conjunction with the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.

Steve Stride, CEO, Poplar HARCA said:

“The Fashioning Poplar project will create a unique end-to-end opportunity for the fashion sector, combining design, enterprise, tech, making and manufacturing and selling. It will be embedded in the community providing jobs, training and workspace locally, ensuring talent is created and nurtured in this hugely exciting part of East London”.