Hackney Council has secured a £5.3 million fund to develop a designer retail village in Chatham Place, which is expected to create 200 jobs.
The money is earmarked to expand the area home to the Burberry Outlet Store, a popular tourist destination attracting around a million visitors a year. The store, which offers famous fashion names at discounted prices, will be used to attract other designer brands to Hackney.
Disused properties on Morning Lane will be restored to make room for the new retail village, after the money was secured from the Mayor of London’s riot regeneration fund.
Hackney, just one of the boroughs badly affected by the August riots, was invited to apply for a share of the £70 million fund in a bid to revitalise the local economy, increase footfall to the area, and create local jobs.
Hackney MP Diane Abbott has previously declared that Hackney desperately needs to renovate its high streets and town centres.
“Healthy and diverse high streets are the cornerstone of local communities”, Abbott said. “It is absolutely appalling that so many town centre shops in Hackney are now empty.
“The Tory-led government has completely failed to take action to support our high streets at a time when their economic policies are making the situation worse.”
Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, welcomed the new investment. He said: “Hackney Central has so much to offer in terms of culture, vibrancy and opportunity.
“This investment has the potential to create a unique attraction that can give the borough a significant economic boost, so I ampleased that our bid has been successful.”
The rest of the £5,307,500 grant will be spent on improving shop fronts in Mare Street and Clarence Road, which were both badly damaged in last summer’s riots.
Local shopkeepers can bid for funding through Hackney Council./ 25 January, 2012