Archway high street to get massive funding boost

A cash injection of more than �90,000 is heading its way to a run-down shopping area.

A cash injection of more than �90,000 is heading its way to a run-down shopping area.

As reported in last week’s Gazette, residents have complained about litter, empty shops and the bleak appearance of the once thriving Archway shopping mall next to Archway Tube station.

Private landlords, Lazari Investments, a company based in Highgate Hill which owns the square, has faced calls from the Archway Town Centre Management Group and angry shoppers to help reinstate the site to its former glory.

But the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has just announced that �92,000 out of his �10 million Outer London Fund will go to Archway to help bring the buzz back into the high street and boost the economy there.

The money will be spent on enhanced Christmas lights, winter planting, an art installation and a shop local campaign.

The Mayor said: “Investing in our town centres and local areas is absolutely key to maintaining London’s position as the best big city in the world. This cash injection means councils, like Islington, can start work today to attract more people into their area, boost economic growth and bring the buzz back to their high streets.

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“But this is just the beginning. With over �40m left to spend immense changes are on the horizon for some of London’s town centres, changes that will not only enhance but intensify the character, colour and identity of those places we call home.”

Set up in March, the Mayor’s Outer London Fund is a �50m three year scheme to grow economic activity and drive employment in parts of London benefitting less directly from large-scale infrastructure investment in the capital such as Crossrail and the 2012 Games.

In the first round of funding, �10million was made available with the aim of providing boroughs with immediate access to funds which they can use to increase the attractiveness and economic competitiveness of their town centres in the build up to the Christmas period and throughout the New Year. A further �40 million will be made available in a second round of the scheme.

Daniel Moylan, deputy chairman of Transport for London, who is working closely with the Mayor on the project, said: “This money will provide a real boost for town centres which are suffering from the effects of a slower than expected economic recovery. Giving councils immediate access to the funds means that they can plough ahead with their successful bids and get their areas ready to take full advantage of the Christmas period.

“An investment in our town centres is an investment in economic growth and quality of life for all Londoners and I look forward to the proposals for the second round of the fund which are set to bring about real long-term change for centres across the capital.”