Run-down Whitechapel gets Lottery ‘makeover’ for 2012 Olympics

THE East End of London is getting a tidy �1.4 million windfall from the National Lottery to spruce up one of its famous street markets on the main road leading to the 2012 Olympics Stadium.

The cash announced last night is being used to help restore dozens of historic buildings along the Whitechapel Road which are looking a bit run down.

Whitechapel’s ‘market conservation’ area is being treated to a makeover as part of the �22m High Street 2012 programme currently under way, to transform the thoroughfare in time for the Olympics.

Now Tower Hamlets council can get on with tidying up a cluster of 60 buildings, some dating back to the 17th century.

“This will give the East End a boost ensuring its rich architectural heritage can be preserved,” said Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman. “Whitechapel Road forms the main link between central London and the Olympic Park.”

The work due to begin at the end of March will enable traditional shop fronts to be restored and empty buildings brought back into use.

So far, planning permission has been secured to restore the first nine buildings, carried out by the local authority.

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Heritage Lottery Fund’s London chief Sue Bowers promised: “Transforming Whitechapel will create a lasting Olympic legacy in East London, encouraging growth for business in this vibrant area.”

Grants are available to building owners and leaseholders along the north-side of Whitechapel Road.

Some buildings further west, closer to the City, have already undergone a makeover in Witechapel High Street. A terrace of six buildings opposite Whitechapel Gallery, have had new fascias, painted timber signs and new timber sash windows fitted.