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People living and working in North Finchley given their say on £1.5m revamp
Knitting groups, trees and the revival of Finchley Carnival are just a handful of suggestions for how more than £1million could be spent on rejuvenating North Finchley town centre.
People living and working in the area are being given the chance to say how £1.1million from the Mayor’s Outer London Fund and just under £400,000 from Barnet Borough Council should be spent on improving the area.
Launching the scheme at the artsdepot tonight, Councillor David Longstaff said: “We want to try to attract more people to North Finchley to use the cafes, restaurants and shops.
“We want to improve the synergies that exist between the artsdepot, the high street and residents to make North Finchley a cultural destination.”
A North Finchley 'town team' will be set up to decide how the money is spent, from arts and culture to helping existing and new businesses.
Volunteers are being encouraged to join the town team to have their say on the plans which must be completed by April 2014.
Helen Michael, owner of Cafe Buzz in the High Road will be leading the business, marketing and economy side of the team.
Addressing an 80-strong crowd tonight, she said: “We need to make North Finchley attractive, we need to make it clean, we need to make it safe – I’ve been told not to mention parking so I won’t – and I’d like to improve footfall.”
But it was parking people wanted to talk about – many expressed their concerns the high street will not attract more customers unless the council makes parking more accessible and cheaper.
Loretta De Lange, who lives in North Finchley and is chair of Finchley Arts Society, said: “Something has got to be done about parking. The car parks need to be cheaper if people are going to come here.”
But the audience was told the money is ring-fenced, and that parking “is a separate issue”.
To have your say about the plans email Sally Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org