Small businesses and community groups on London’s high streets are being encouraged to apply for a share of a new £9m fund from the Mayor of London to help revitalise and even potentially change the way we use our high streets.
The Mayor’s team are looking to use the new funding to support ideas that go beyond ‘business as usual’ activities. They are particularly keen for small businesses to take a leading role in bidding for grants to boost their local town centres.
Grants can be used to smarten up shop fronts, improve public spaces or to hold mini festivals but the aim will be for firms and community groups to be at the heart of that funding.
London’s high streets are the heartbeat of the capital’s business community. They are home to 175,000 businesses (47 per cent of those businesses being outside central London), employ almost 1.5m people and two thirds of Londoners live within five minutes of one.
The Mayor is looking for places that have potential for growth and where there is the commitment and capacity for long-term change. Successful applications will need to think outside the box and consider the many hidden spaces for development that can be rejuvenated. It is essential that the projects are innovative in order to meet the many needs of the high street whilst nurturing business and enhancing civic life.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“I welcome ideas that are as distinctive as the high streets they serve; whether you are a local group who wants to turn that empty shop into a crèche for your community or a restaurateur desperate for help with a licensing issue holding you back from using the pavement outside your café. High streets are London’s most prized urban asset and this fund will invest in, support and champion their continued growth and success.”