High Road under threat

by Nadia Sam-Daliri nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk A passionate campaigner has united a group of residents in a bid to get more funding for the recession-hit High Road. Lesley Clyne, of Priory Park Road, Kilburn and his neighbour

by Nadia Sam-Daliri

nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk

A passionate campaigner has united a group of residents in a bid to get more funding for the recession-hit High Road.

Lesley Clyne, of Priory Park Road, Kilburn and his neighbours are lobbying officers at Transport for London and Brent and Camden Councils to invest in the High Road.


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They fear that the once-thriving shopping area will not withstand the economic down-turn and say that businesses are closing every week.

Mr Clyne, 59, who is a born-and-bred Kilburn man, said: "The state of Kilburn High Road now is shocking. A group of us residents went to TfL to ask them to put money into the roads and pavements.

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"They know the High Road is in a bad way. Every time you go, another shop closes and they're all turning into 99p shops.

"I've lived here my whole life and I'm very concerned. It's extremely quiet.

"Kilburn High Road used to be one of busiest shopping centres in the country. Camden and Brent should provide more funding."

Residents are now filling out TfL forms in a hope to boost the coffers.

Last week, the Times started its in-depth study on the state of business on Kilburn High Road.

Reporters will hit the area every week to concentrate on a new industry.

The High Road is split down the middle, with the west side the responsibility of Brent Council and the east side managed by Camden.

Brent Council said it is running the Kilburn Business Partnership, which works closely alongside traders, with Camden.

A Brent spokesman said: "We are not aware of Kilburn High Road being worse hit than anywhere else in Brent - most local traders across the borough are facing a challenging situation. We urge small businesses to apply for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) if they are struggling to pay rates."

Businesses that have one property or several with a low rental value can apply for the SBRR.

Ratepayers can also defer sixty per cent of their 2009-10 business rate increase, meaning they can spread increases over the next three years.

Got to www.businessraterelief.co.uk for more information.

Camden Council said it regularly surveys businesses in the High Road and has organised meetings with traders.

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "The council has committed �1.2 million in support for businesses, plus more money for programmes to underpin the economic vitality of the borough, such as tourism or connecting local entrepreneurs with empty business space. This will include publicity for Camden's high streets."

The council has also set up websites with tips on tax credits and ways to beat the recession.

Go to www.camden.gov.uk/recession or www.open4business.info/camden.

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