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London mayor pledges £50 million for post-riot regeneration

London mayor Boris Johnson has promised to invest £50 million in the long-term regeneration town centres damaged by rioting in the capital

At the start of this week violent disturbances involving looting and arson took place in Hackney, Peckham, Lewisham, Woolwich, Croydon and Clapham Junction.

The mayor’s investment aims to transform the riot-hit areas into ‘places that are better than before to live, work and invest in’.

So far £50 million has already been pledged for urban regeneration under the mayor’s Outer London Fund, however the money pledged this week will allow larger scale proposals to proceed, it was claimed.

According to the statement, the funds will be used to make sure the repair and rebuilding work’s ‘momentum’ goes beyond the mere restoration of damaged buildings.

Johnson (pictured) said: ‘We have always recognised the importance of improving London’s town centres and clearly after the destruction caused by the recent events across the city this is a bigger challenge than ever.

‘That is why I am allocating £50 million to ensure that these areas are regenerated quickly and transformed into safe, attractive, vibrant and economically successful places to live, work and invest in.’

Meanwhile, communities secretary Eric Pickles has announced £20 million fund to boost activity in high streets worst hit by the riots.

According to a statement the money, which will be distributed by councils, will be used to ‘will get businesses trading again and meet short-term costs’.

Pickles offered councils a further £10 million fund for street cleaning and repairs.

Pickles added: ‘It is not just for the state to support local firms affected by these criminal actions. I encourage every local resident to make an effort to shop locally in this and coming weeks and support the local high streets which are the lifeblood of our communities.’

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