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Jan 19 2012

Council wins £1.8m funding for Harrow Town Centre

A new town park and permanent performance space will be created in Harrow Town Centre after the Council won a £1.8m regeneration grant.

The funding will also pay for town centre management, festivals, events and markets in the town centre and improvements to the main shopping street, St Ann’s Road, in ongoing efforts to attract more shoppers and visitors.

The money is coming from the second round of the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund, which aims to improve the look and competitiveness of high streets in the capital. It will be match funded by £300,000 from the Council and is in addition to the £860,000 Harrow Council won last year from the first round of the Outer London Fund to support traders in Harrow Town Centre and North Harrow.

Successful events in Harrow town centre in December saw both main shopping centres report increased footfall for the month compared to the previous year.

Cllr Keith Ferry (pictured), portfolio holder for planning and economic development on Harrow Council, said:

“This is a real shot in the arm for Harrow Town Centre and will see the Council and businesses ramp up partnership working to revitalise the area and aid long-term economic growth.

“If town centres like ours are to continue to compete with Watford and Brent Cross, the more recent challenges of the internet and other major retail centres like Westfield, we need to rethink what our offer is. This money will help create a cultural space where music, dance, the arts and more will draw the crowds and support local traders.

“Supporting our town centre is one of the Council’s top priorities and in the last nine months we have won over £2.5m to spend on helping local businesses.

“We need to build on recent shop local campaigns, make the area more attractive and encourage residents to visit their town centre more often to help it flourish.

“Money won last summer paid for short term events and activities, particularly over Christmas that has delivered results. We are also asking residents for their views on long term plans to regenerate Harrow town centre, Wealdstone and Station Road in the decades ahead.

“This funding is about the medium term and responding to the challenging, changing times we are in.”

The Greater London Authority is providing Harrow with a grant of £1,758,000 from Round II of the Outer London Fund, match funded by £300,000 from the Council. It will pay a range of projects developed by Harrow Council as part of their bid, including:

  • A town park on the site of Lowlands Recreation Ground, including a performance space, seating and a café kiosk, alongside landscaping and planting
  • Improvements to the street scene in St Ann’s Road with new lighting, trees and street furniture
  • Festivals, events and speciality markets
  • Town centre management and preparation to create a Business Improvement District in the town centre.

The Council last week launched a major consultation looking at the long term future of Harrow Town Centre, Wealdstone and Station Road and welcomes comments. Find out more at www.harrow.gov.uk/heartofharrow.

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