THURROCK regeneration schemes are set to take a multimillion-pound hit to fund improvements to public spaces in the East End of London in time for the Olympics.
The communities department has told the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporations they will have millions raided from their annual budgets in order to fund public realm improvements in the five Olympic boroughs.
The communities department has been trying to drum up funds for the past year since the Olympic boroughs asked for £500m for improvement work. Sources suggest the department is seeking to raise between £50m and £115m to pay for the programme.
A source close to the process said: “The communities department was given this plan and has spent the last year totally failing to find the money to pay for it, and is now resorting to stealing off the UDCs.”
Niall Lindsay, chief executive at the Thurrock corporation told a reporter: “If we have to look at a reduced allocation we can accommodate it by moving resources.”
Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Waltham Forest boroughs will spend the funds on projects such as improving the route between Canning Town and the Excel centre. Council heads received a letter from the department recently saying the programme of works would go ahead.