Boris Johnson has called on Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to go ahead with plans to build a new stadium at Northumberland Park in north London.
In light of arch-rival West Ham being awarded the 2012 Olympic stadium after the Games, Tottenham Hotspur sought a judicial review last month stating that a move to the Olympic Stadium would be more affordable than staying in north London.
The mayor, and the leader of Haringey council, Claire Kober met with Daniel Levy, chairman, Tottenham football club to pool in £17m that would facilitate transport improvements made as part of a long-term regeneration package.
The mayor’s package includes £5m for infrastructure and public realm works and £3.5m to improve transport links to and from the area at Tottenham Hale and White Hart Lane stations in north London.
However, the £8.5m package will be drawn from the £50m regeneration fund that the mayor allocated to regenerate areas in the capital affected by the riots. Therefore, the package would not all be spent on the development of the stadium.
The project relies solely on a commercial decision by the Tottenham Hotspur but the mayor’s offer means that the club would be relieved of all planning gain requirements that are often associated with large scale developments.
Speaking about stadium plans, Boris Johnson, said: “Tottenham Hotspur has long been an integral part of the community and by staying true to its roots the club now has the power to revolutionise an area of the capital that has been neglected for far too long.
“Last month’s riots were a telling reminder of just how important it is for Spurs to press ahead with the development at Northumberland Park and to help kick-start a much wider regeneration project that would create jobs and give Tottenham the economic boost it deserves.
“The club knows there is no more money available from the public purse and I sincerely hope that they accept the offer we have made. It is not just in the best interests of Tottenham Hotspur and the fans of this great London club, but of the wider north London community.”
Haringey council leader, Claire Kober, said: “It is critically important that Spurs commit to Tottenham to help drive forward regeneration in this very deprived area. We realise that there are viability difficulties and have worked with the GLA (Greater London Authority) to pull together an in principle offer of assistance, which is of course subject to planning approval. We believe this offer would help to bring the scheme forward.
“We’ve always said we want very much for Spurs to stay where they are revered and we feel belong. That means we remain willing to discuss matters with Spurs.”
The Mayor has pledged that as part of the GLA’s responsible procurement policy the project would seek to award contracts to local companies as far as possible and that firms involved in delivering the improvements would be required to take on apprentices from the local area.