Home Business News Sadiq kickstarts London’s Covid recovery with £544m investment in jobs and high streets

Sadiq kickstarts London’s Covid recovery with £544m investment in jobs and high streets

by LLB political Reporter
19th Mar 21 2:45 pm

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today unveil a bumper package of measures worth more than £544m to kickstart London’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as he brings together leaders and key London organisations at his inaugural Recovery Summit.

Sadiq has put revitalising high streets, supporting communities and boosting jobs at the centre of his plan to rebuild the capital as a fairer, cleaner and greener city with a better long-term future for Londoners. Today, he is announcing:

  • As part of an ongoing programme working with City Hall, utility companies in London will bring forward an additional £499m of investment – on top of the £1.5bn announced last year – creating over 1,400 jobs, with programmes to support jobs for younger Londoners, and those from BAME backgrounds. City Hall are also supporting companies in their endeavour to unlock a further £346million worth of green recovery proposals from regulators, with a potential additional 250 jobs.
  • £32m Good Work Fund to support Londoners from the next academic year to gain the skills they need to support London’s recovery, such as for jobs in the green, health and social care, creative and digital sectors. This is in addition to the £318m (AEB) available for the 2021/22 academic year, which will help to support London’s recovery programme.
  • £5m of investment from the European Social Fund to support unemployed people into work and help those in-work to improve their skills at higher levels and progress into better jobs.
  • A £4m High Streets for All Challenge that will invite Londoners and boroughs to come up with ideas for how high streets could change to meet the needs of a post-Covid world.
  • £3m allocated to Future Neighbourhoods 2030, a project that will support two to four neighbourhoods to transform their local environments, tackle climate change and air pollution, and prepare them for a zero-carbon future. Selected Future Neighbourhoods will be located in London’s most disadvantaged or climate vulnerable areas, or areas where residents have been most severely affected by the pandemic.
  • £1m investment for the fifth tranche of London Community Response fund, which will provide grants of up to £50,000 for voluntary and community sector organisations to support the recovery and renewal of London’s communities over a year from April 2021.
  • £500,000 from the Make London programme to match-fund projects led by communities to help improve public spaces, promote grass-roots culture and bring people together safely – including by securing new uses for vacant high street shops and creating new walking routes.
  • £150,000 from the Community Led Recovery Programme for 35 small, grassroots community organisations across London, giving groups the opportunity to collaborate with decision makers to reimagine London as a fairer, greener and more resilient city than it was before.
  • £90,000 from the Advice in Community Settings grant programme to support the development of up to 10 school-based partnerships and five community food-based partnerships.
  • The Civic Futures programme will work with 30 of London’s most innovative and embedded leaders from civil society and local government to explore the current challenges facing London’s communities and develop strategies for the city’s recovery.
  • A toolkit for civil society organisations to empower communities and support stronger relationships across local areas through London’s recovery.
  • An open call for innovations that will help to address London’s recovery challenges via ChallengeLDN

The London Recovery Summit will showcase the work of the London Recovery Board, chaired by Sadiq, which brings together representatives from the Government, local authorities, the NHS, universities and colleges, trade unions, business, the voluntary sector and community groups.

In addition, for the first time in London’s history, some of the city’s biggest organisations will today commit to working together by using their procurement and recruitment power to maximise employment opportunities and help young people to flourish. A special group, chaired by the London NHS, has developed London’s first ever city-wide Anchor Institutions’ Charter, which is published today and signed by:

  • NHS London
  • TfL
  • London Fire Brigade
  • The Metropolitan Police
  • The University of London
  • The Association of Colleges
  • The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Film London
  • The Trades Union Congress, London, East and South-East
  • The Church of England
  • The London Jewish Forum
  • The Muslim Council of Britain

These major organisations – who between them employ over 490,000 people and spend over £73bn a year in London – have committed to help the capital recover from the pandemic by targeting job opportunities and support to Londoners most impacted by the virus and the economic fallout of the last year.

This work on anchor institutions is part of a growing focus by cities on what is sometimes called Community Wealth Building. It has been tried in various cities in the USA and in Preston in the UK. It is a means by which cities can take radical steps to address inequality and boost their local economy by having the biggest employers work together. The work in London has been supported by Bloomberg Associates, who say that London is by far the biggest and most important international city to attempt to coordinate the spending and recruitment powers of anchor institutions in this way. Today’s charter represents an important commitment and Bloomberg is now working with major London anchor institutions to develop detailed plans to be revealed later this year.

The Mayor is now calling on the Government to step up and match his ambitious plans for the capital, warning that the success of the nation depends on it.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “I am hosting the Recovery Summit to bring together London’s leaders and communities and kickstart this great city’s recovery from the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

“We owe it to everyone who has lost their lives, to the key workers who have done so much to keep us safe, and to all those who have suffered to ensure that we build an even better London after the pandemic. This is the moment to tackle the deep-seated structural inequalities that have long scarred our city and to rebuild London as a fairer, greener and more prosperous city.

“Jobs and investment are crucial to getting our city going again, which is why today I’m unveiling a package of measures worth hundreds of millions of pounds that will create jobs and improve the places where we live and work.  We are also working with some of the biggest employers in the capital to target job opportunities to where they are needed the most.

“It is unacceptable that despite the capital being a massive generator of wealth for this country, London also has some of the most deprived communities of anywhere in the country, with stark inequalities, made even worse by the pandemic. So I’m calling on the Government to match my ambitious plans as a starting point. By failing to fund and support the capital, the Government faces the real risk of undermining a national recovery.”

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