Business owners bid for funds to improve Streatham High Road
Business owners have met to finalise their bid for a share of a £300,000 London fund to help transform the town centre.
Members of the Streatham Business Board discussed plans for their application to the Mayor of London’s Portas pilot fund on June 7.
London Mayor Boris Johnson’s chosen towns will each receive up to £100,000 to carry out recommendations made in a nationwide review by shopping guru Mary Portas for Government ministers.
Speaking ahead of the meeting in Streatham, board chairman Lee Alley said the cash would primarily pay for the renovation of shop fronts in Streatham Hill and opposite Streatham rail station.
He said the board was also looking at the possibility of inviting street artists to paint shop shutters with imaginative designs to make the high street more attractive for commuters.
He said: “A lot of it will be about seeing what is realistic. It is about taking shop owners outside themselves and putting them in the shoes of a commuter.
“Streatham has suffered from lack of investment. We want to take it to the next level.” Town centre manager Angelina Purcell said Streatham deserved the money more than other towns because the two-mile long High Road lacks an obvious focal point, making it difficult to lure shoppers in.
She said: “We are unique in that it is such a long High Road. Most town centres have a centre and a heart, so it is much easier to get people mobilised.
“But we have to have activities all along the high street. We are the equivalent of five high streets together – that is the scale of the problems we are facing in the High Road.”
She added Streatham needed huge investment in order to sustain improvements and any funding from the Portas pilot would be part of a long-term plan to regenerate the area.
She said: “We are grateful for every penny, but there are some big things that need to be done.
“We need to go after some quirky independents but that takes time and money.”
As part of the Streatham Guardian’s campaign to support the High Road, Streatham Green party member Leon Maurice-Jones has drawn up some images of how the high street could be changed for the better.
The pictures show a more pedestrianised town centre, which includes more greenery and sculptures commissioned by local artists.
What are your ideas for improving the High Road?
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