London

London boroughs to bid for £50m regeneration funds

Outer London boroughs have been asked to come up with ideas to bid for a £50m pot to regenerate town centres.

Mayor Boris Johnson said the funds for regeneration will address "historic neglect of the outer boroughs".

Opening the bidding the mayor's office said areas which will not see direct benefits from either the Olympics or Crossrail will get preference.

Ken Livingstone, Labour's 2012 mayoral candidate, called the scheme a "pre-election gimmick" of "little benefit".

About £10m will be allocated in the first round and each area could ask for up to £500,000. The rest of the money will be allocated over the next two years.

'High Street Cinderellas'

The money is aimed to help local retailers and projects for outer London town centres.

Mr Johnson said: "These are the very areas in London where everyday life takes place. Hubs brimming with local character, identity and full of aspiration, this is London's collective beating heart.

"This is a huge lift for the Cinderellas of the High Street and I am confident that we will see a real buzz and vibrancy before Christmas this year."

Mr Livingstone said: "Boris Johnson is borrowing millions which means Londoners will pick up the cost of his pre-election gimmick but see little benefit.

"Nowhere has been hit harder than outer London boroughs by Boris Johnson with huge fare rises and cuts to 300 sergeants from safer neighbourhood teams."

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