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Allocation of London's £47m business rates uplift unveiled

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A £47m uplift in business rates through its pilot scheme has been redistributed across London.

Eight major projects with a particular focus on digital infrastructure and economic growth will benefit from the funding boost.

The projects, such as installing fast fibre-optic broadband connections in strategic locations, investing in digital-enabled workspaces, and developing an ‘open data standard’ for planning applications, involve all 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation.

Peter John (Lab), chair of London Councils, said: “London boroughs, the City of London Corporation and the mayor are determined to ensure that the business rates funding we receive delivers strategic benefits to London’s business community.

“Today’s announcement shows that we have our finger on the pulse in terms of what London needs – digital infrastructure worthy of a 21st century global city.”

Theo Blackwell, London’s chief digital officer, said: “These investments reflect the mayor and the boroughs’ new city-wide commitment to improving digital connectivity.

“We are mobilising new investment to support businesses and citizens by working closely with councils to improve customer choice and target ‘not spots’.

“Our work together sets solid foundations for future 5G technologies in London, which will create new jobs and make London a smarter city.”

The eight projects that have been awarded funding are:

  • £11.1m – for two programmes delivered by the West London Alliance: an evidence-based productivity and skills programme to support individuals and businesses in West London; and a major extension of the high speed fibre network across the seven West London boroughs, targeting internet ‘not spots’ located in growth and regeneration areas
  • £8m – to provide to workspace, business support and talent development in growth clusters in central and south London
  • £7.7m – to upgrade internet fibre-optic broadband connections at key public sector sites across nine London boroughs in North East London
  • £7m – for a new footbridge to provide a fully accessible link to South Quay within the Canary Wharf estate, near its new Elizabeth line and Jubilee line stations. This will unlock new housing and commercial development and connect the Isle of Dogs with the Canary Wharf commercial district
  • £5.7m – to deliver good quality employment space, a loan fund for local businesses and bringing partners together to agree a development masterplan for a 5 hectare area of land in the Tottenham area.
  • £4m – to establish a platform in south London that gathers data about a variety of things such as air quality, traffic, footfall and parking space availability
  • £3m - to build the Euston Construction Skills Centre, which will deliver bespoke construction skills training for key construction companies, general construction training, rail and engineering training opportunities and STEM skills. It would also pilot new building methods such as off-site manufacturing
  • £250,000 – to develop an open data standard for planning applications to transform the quality of strategic planning and administration of planning permission
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