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Welcome back to our high streets

Mayor with team

Mayor Biggs with the street cleansing team

Shops and market traders are keen to welcome back residents as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and high streets aim to return to business as usual.

The Mayor’s Covid Recovery Fund is giving high streets in Tower Hamlets a makeover with £266,750 set aside for a series of Big Clean Ups which will include deep cleaning of pavements, graffiti removal and shopfront improvements.

The Mayor’s Covid Recovery Fund is a £3 million scheme aimed at kickstarting the economic, health and social recovery from Covid-19 in the borough.

Nearly £3m of funding has been committed through the Mayor’s Covid Recovery Fund to support residents, businesses and the work of community organisations recover from the impact of the pandemic.  

The Big Clean Up drive, which was relaunched in July following a pause due to Covid-19, will be a series of targeted days and involve council teams working with community volunteers to make the area litter free and more attractive to residents and visitors.

The first Big Clean Up took place at Arnold Circus which has been highlighted as a grot hotspot. The Mayor visited Navarre Street and Ligonier Street in Bethnal Green today (17 August) to see the transformation after council officers had blitzed both streets and removed sap and moss from the York stone paving.

Mayor John Biggs said: “I understand how difficult it has been for businesses during lockdown and so many small businesses have closed due to the restrictions.

We’ve distributed more than £227m in grants and rate relief to local businesses during the pandemic and are investing £320,000 in our Thriving High Streets Fund.

I want to help our businesses bounce back and one of the ways we are trying to do this is by making our high streets and markets more attractive to visitors.

The Big Clean Ups are part of our efforts to make Tower Hamlets a cleaner, greener and safer borough.”

Cllr Asma Islam, Cabinet member for Environment and Public Realm, said:“Making our high streets cleaner will benefit everyone and make your shopping experience better.

Tower Hamlets has the most markets in London with our nationally renowned Columbia Road and Brick Lane markets and fantastic independent shops.”

Cllr Sirajul Islam, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Faith and Equalities, added: “Columbia Road is a feast for the eyes, brimming with vintage, antique and artisan shops with beautiful shopfronts.

“I hope the Mayor’s Covid Recovery Fund money will help to get people back into our high streets and shopping again!”

If residents or businesses would like to get involved in a Big Clean Up please get in touch by dropping us an email at bigcleanup@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

Residents can report street cleaning issues anytime via the council’s free Love Your Neighbourhood app, available on Android and Apple devices.  

Alternatively, people can use a simple online form on the council website at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/reportit  

Posted on Wednesday 18th August 2021