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Building on success – £1.34m for Walthamstow High Street

The ongoing regeneration of Walthamstow town centre got another boost today (17 March) when Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet meeting agreed to the allocation of £1.34million of funding for the High Street.


In December last year the Council submitted a bid to the Greater London Authority (GLA) for funding from their High Street Fund (HSF). “We previously secured funding from the GLA for areas such as Wood Street and Blackhorse Lane,” said Councillor Clare Coghill, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets.


“Now we have managed to tap into a pot of money that will see the Council match fund the £670,000 the GLA have agreed to contribute. The funding is aimed specifically at helping Walthamstow High Street grow and become more vibrant and will focus on developing the night-time and creative economies.”



Funding from the HSF is being directed to places that have potential for growth and where there is the commitment and capacity for real, long-term change. Part of the Council’s vision for Walthamstow is to put it on the map as a cultural destination, raising the profile of Waltham Forest's active community of artists, artisans and creators.



The arrival of The Scene has already helped stimulate growth and provided a real opportunity for local entrepreneurs and cultural institutions to capitalise on a gathering momentum. By providing activities to generate footfall to the town centre and further improve the physical environment, the Council envisages being able to build on that upward trend. 



In particular the Council wants to diversify the High Street by providing opportunities for growth in both existing and new businesses. Where applicable it will also look to enhance residential provision and make use of empty spaces. In particular, exploring how under-used land at the back of the High Street can be improved for existing users as well as providing an opportunity for additional infill housing. 



Part of the funding will go towards stimulating and supporting the development of the creative/cultural economy in Walthamstow town centre through the provision of start-up spaces in underused buildings. There will also be opportunities to sell and promote business both on The High Street and in the Street Market.



“Obviously the cinema and restaurants at The Scene have radically enhanced the evening economy in the town centre, but we think there is more capacity there to further improve on what is on offer,” said Cllr Coghill.



“By creating more evening activities, such as the establishment of a twilight market and supporting businesses that currently operate in the evening, we can make sure Walthamstow is a real destination for borough residents looking for a night out.”


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