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£1m deal to give Whitechapel 'total makeover' gets City Hall's green light to go

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 March 2015

New civic square planned for Whitechapel

New civic square planned for Whitechapel

TH Council

A £1 million spruce-up of Whitechapel High Street has got the green light.

The GLA is investing £500,000 for a makeover along the Whitechapel Road which is being matched by cash from the Town Hall’s coffers.

The investment from Boris Johnson’s High Street Fund and from Tower Hamlets Council is being used to make Whitechapel “a better place for business”.

The funding is to bring empty buildings back into use and attract outside investment to boost the run-down thoroughfare.

Projects include creating low-cost workspaces by converting empty or underused buildings, helping businesses take advantage of changes with the arrival of Crossrail in 2018 and even holding an annual traders’ celebration.

“The Whitechapel plan means economic boost to the area,” Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said. “The new funding we have received will help build on that by supporting local businesses.”

The Whitechapel Masterplan launched a year ago identified Whitechapel with its Crossrail-Underground transport interchange as “a growth opportunity waiting to happen”.

It includes a new civic hub at the old Royal London Hospital site, recently purchased by Tower Hamlets from Barts Health NHS Trust for £9 million, plus 3,500 new homes by 2025 including low-cost family housing, 5,000 jobs and seven new public squares and open spaces.

City Hall’s High Street Fund is aimed at helping local high streets become more vibrant, with £9m available until March next year, directed at areas that have potential to grow and where there is capacity for long-term change.

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