Council wins £1.8M for cultural quarter

Published: 7 March 2018

The council’s ambitious plans to transform Ilford town centre into a vibrant cultural hub have received a boost after the announcement of major funding support.  

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, unveiled today that Redbridge Council has successfully bid for £1.8M from the Greater London Authority (GLA) for investment in the Spark project.

The funding helps pave the way for the council to transform the historic Town Hall and the area around it into a new cultural quarter.

The project includes artist studios, affordable workspaces and public spaces to create a vibrant hub in the heart of Ilford.   

Public art and a programme of community outreach, entertainment and learning are also part of Spark.

The project is one of the first to be awarded money from the Mayor’s £70M Good Growth Fund, which acknowledges the role that local communities are playing in shaping the regeneration of their town centre.

Last year the council launched its exciting Manifesto for Ilford Town Centre and Regenerating Ilford: Delivery Prospectus with a new cultural quarter at the core of these plans. 

The hub will also include:

  • Studio space and affordable workspace for artists and creative enterprise
  • A purpose built covered market, enabling start up and food entrepreneurs to establish and grow.
  • The buildings in Janice Mews, next to Kenneth Moore Theatre, utilised as space for start-up businesses.
  • Opportunities for residents to benefit from a wide range of training and skills development.

To boost the look of the town centre and make it more attractive to residents and visitors, the council will also undertake a raft of improvements to local streets.

The council’s Cabinet voted in favour of the Spark project last night.  Work by the council’s delivery partners is due to begin shortly, with new workspaces available in the town hall in the autumn.

The council’s campaign, This Is Redbridge, has already given the borough the opportunity to showcase the immense talent in the borough and the Spark project will build on this so that we can continue to put culture at the heart of our regeneration plans. 

Total investment in the project will reach £5.3M.

Welcoming the announcement of funding for Spark, the Leader of Council Cllr Jas Athwal said:  “We are ambitious for Ilford and want to reclaim the town’s place as the heart of a modern east London.

“This funding from the Mayor is a huge boost for our plans to put our community at the centre of regeneration by creating a vibrant cultural hub in our borough.

“Add to that Crossrail enhancing Ilford’s fast-improving status as an emerging and well-connected place to live and our exciting wider regeneration plans, we have a real opportunity to attract further investment and secure the economic future of the town.”

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The Mayor and I are determined to use the Good Growth Fund to challenge preconceptions about how regeneration takes place. This project is a great example of how we can work with local communities on projects in a way that will help ensure the benefits are felt by all.”

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