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Southwark sets up £1million community restoration fund

Published Friday, 13 April 2012

Pride of Southwark

A £1million fund to help support businesses and young people affected by last year's disturbances has been launched by Southwark Council.

Southwark was one of the worst hit areas during August's disorder with almost 150 businesses falling victim to a range of crimes that fundamentally impacted on the communities within which they operate.

Council chiefs said the fund would aim to restore "community pride" and enable local businesses groups to apply for funding to implement their ideas for regenerating their high streets and town centres.

It follows the results of the council's community conversations set up in the wake of the disturbances and which aimed to find out what local people thought were the reasons behind the disorder and how to stop it from happening again.

Overwhelming feedback suggested more activities for young people were needed, with more support to help local businesses back on their feet.

The council said the fund would "act as a catalyst for new ideas that support improvements to high streets and town centres or which encourage young people to engage in positive activities in the community and make positive life choices. The money will be targeted at those areas most affected by the disturbances such as Peckham and Walworth, although business groups from the whole borough will be eligible to apply."

The council will also be supporting a range of projects to support young people with a proportion of the money being used to develop these.

Council Leader Peter John said: "Despite the seriousness of the disorder last summer, the reaction and resilience of our community to the challenges they have faced over the last eight months has been truly inspiring and is indicative of the tremendous Southwark spirit which always shines through in the face of adversity.

"Our community restoration fund will help further restore local community pride and deliver long term solutions to support businesses and young people across the borough in those areas most affected by the disturbances."

Businesses wishing to be considered for community restoration funding have until Friday 11 May to submit their ideas via the council's website, a full copy of the council's Community Conversations report can also be viewed here.

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