Barking can bid for Boris’ �50m regeneration cash to repair town centre

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced a �50 million fund to help make major long term improvements to the capital’s town centres and high streets damaged by the recent disturbances.

On Monday night more than 200 vandals damaged and looted shops in Barking Town Centre, smashed the windows at Vicarage Fields shopping centre and burnt down the Westbury Arms pub in Ripple Road.

Mr Johnson 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.”

The regeneration proposals will be developed with communities and councils and contracts awarded for the work should go to as many local businesses and employ as many local people as possible. This will also include offering apprenticeships to unemployed people in the affected areas to give them vital skills to move into work.