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Housing associations invited to bid for £9m regeneration fund

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Housing associations invited to bid for £9m regeneration fund

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Finance, Housing

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Image: Money via Shutterstock

Housing associations will for the first time be able to bid for cash to convert empty garages into business space for start-ups, as London's outer boroughs are offered £9 million to help regenerate high streets and town centres.

The funds come in response to the publication of a recent report, ‘From Lock Up to Start Up’, which identified 3,275 empty garages across London and urged housing associations to transform them into commercial spaces to rent out at competitive prices to micro-businesses such as cycle mechanics, carpenters and product designers.

The report's author, GLA Conservatives planning spokesman Steve O’Connell, said: “This £9M for the next round of the Outer London Fund will benefit residents and businesses alike and I’m delighted the Mayor has acted on the representations made by myself and colleagues. As part of this package, housing associations will be able to work with boroughs and bid for funding towards converting empty garages into business space - if they’re not suitable for housing.

"It is the first of its kind, and is very good news for the Capital’s start-ups and micro businesses who often face high rents and tricky terms with landlords. I’ll now be supporting the Mayor to conduct a pan-London analysis which will include identifying feasible locations, housing associations with suitable garages in their stock, and potential planning issues. There is no reason why this scheme could not eventually be rolled out across the UK.”

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