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More than £2.5million set for Barking and Dagenham community projects as council distributes developer dosh

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 October 2019

Stephen Addison, founder of Box Up Crime, one of the projects up for funding. Picture: Isabel Infantes.

Stephen Addison, founder of Box Up Crime, one of the projects up for funding. Picture: Isabel Infantes.

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Barking and Dagenham council is set to hand out more than £2.5million to community projects in the borough.

One of the projects up for CIL funding is a bid to bring Thames Clipper ferries to Barking. Picture: Mike Brooke.One of the projects up for CIL funding is a bid to bring Thames Clipper ferries to Barking. Picture: Mike Brooke.

The money is from a fee the council charges new developments - the Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy.

Nine projects have been recommended for approval at the next cabinet meeting on Tuesday, October 15, whittled down from 18.

They range from building refurbishments and supporting new football centres, to tackling litter.

If approved, the biggest winner would be the Becontree estate.

Ahead of the 100th anniversary of the historic development, six projects to regenerate the area are getting more than £770,000 over three years - around £250,000 a year.

After talking to the community, projects would include improvements like new lighting in pedestrian areas, more plants and trees, and a new playground in Parsloes Park.

Box Up Crime, a charity that's been working in the borough to help young people out of gangs since 2013, has also been recommended for funding. It wants £300,000 to refurbish its building, which is on a 20-year lease to the charity from the council.

According to the council's report on the funding bids, it helps upwards of 600 young people between seven and 24-years-old every week.

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The biggest single-year project that's been recommended is a project to extend the Thames Clipper further east, all the way to Barking.

If approved, £600,000 would be put towards getting river access for the sprawling Barking Riverside development in the south of the borough. Currently, the north bank's more eastern Thames Clipper mooring is Royal Wharf in neighbouring Newham.

Among the projects that haven't been recommended is a £2million bid for improvements to the new Greatfields Secondary School, which opened in 2016.

The council has tripled the number of projects it wants to allocate funding to compared to June 2018.

At that time, only three projects received money from the fund.

The Parsloes Park Parklife project was given £400,000 towards a new £7million football facility with a new changing "pavilion" and three full-size Astroturf pitches.

With planning permission granted, the project is expected to be finished in autumn 2020.

Another £275,000 went to children's play spaces and £500,000 over five years to improve the borough's parks and open spaces.

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