London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has announced £544m ($754m) worth of investment for creating jobs and revitalising local areas in the city. However, he warned that the government must match his plans for the capital if the country is to recover.
At the inaugural ‘London Recovery Summit’ Khan said he is putting revitalising high streets, supporting communities and boosting jobs at the centre of his plan to rebuild the capital.
Khan said: “We owe it to everyone who has lost their lives, to the key workers who have done so much to keep us safe, and to all those who have suffered to ensure that we build an even better London after the pandemic.
Earlier, Khan launched his campaign to be re-elected as mayor by calling for a post-war style economic recovery package for the capital.
The Labour incumbent said that “jobs, jobs, jobs” for Londoners affected by the coronavirus crisis will be a top priority if he wins a fresh mandate in the May election.
Included in his latest announcement is that utility companies in London will bring forward an additional £499m of investment – on top of the £1.5bn announced last year – creating over 1,400 jobs, with programmes to support jobs for young Londoners, and those from BAME backgrounds.
City Hall is also supporting companies to unlock a further £346m worth of green recovery proposals from regulators, with a potential additional 250 jobs.
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Khan also announced a £32m fund to support Londoners from the next academic year to gain the skills they need to support London’s recovery, such as for jobs in the green, health and social care, creative and digital sectors.
Also included in the new funding is a £4m 'High Streets for All Challenge' scheme that will invite Londoners and boroughs to come up with ideas for how high streets could change to meet the needs of a post-COVID-19 world.
Another £3m will be allocated to Future Neighbourhoods 2030, a project that will support two to four neighbourhoods to transform their local environments, tackle climate change and air pollution, and prepare them for a zero-carbon future.
In addition, some of the city’s biggest organisations said they will work together by using their procurement and recruitment power to maximise employment opportunities.
A group, chaired by the London NHS, developed London’s first ever city-wide Anchor Institutions’ Charter, which was signed by Transport for London (TfL), London Fire Brigade and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others.
These organisations – who together employ more than 490,000 people and spend over £73bn a year in London – have committed to help the capital recover from the pandemic by targeting job opportunities and support to Londoners most impacted by the virus and its economic fallout.
Earlier, Britain's leading business group, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that London must "spearhead" a post-COVID recovery, develop sustainable prosperity and redefine its pitch to the world.
In its London Revival Plan, the CBI sets out a blueprint for the capital’s future which urges the winner of the May ballot to champion London’s unique strengths and sectors.
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