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Beckenham bid for High Street revamp

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» Traders and politicians are busy putting together a renewed bid for improvements to a high street which could include a Puffing Billy- style train chugging up and down.

Many were disappointed when Beckenham was ­unsuccessful in its bid for £89,000 from Boris Johnson’s Outer London Funding project, aimed at revamping high streets.

It was announced last month that Bromley and Penge and Orpington had been awarded cash in the first round.

Now Beckenham is making another play for funding in a bid which must be ­submitted by Bromley Council by October 14. The amount has yet to be decided.

Plans include improving green spaces and lighting and the possibility of pedestrianising the High Street.

Copers Cope councillor Michael Tickner also helped come up with the idea of ­having the novelty train which would add fun while helping less mobile people get around the town centre.

Jackie Groundsell, secretary of Beckenham Business Association, which has proposed its ideas to the council, said: “We want to improve the ambience, creating an aesthetically welcoming ­atmosphere so as to encourage Beckenham as a place where families will want to visit and enjoy in safety.”

Shocked

Speaking about the former bid, Ms Groundsell, added: “We were shocked that Beckenham didn’t get anything. The emphasis is different this time. We wouldn’t ­begrudge anybody anything but we felt it would have been fairer if there had been a spread of funding across the borough’s towns.

“People are supportive of the plans. They are good­ ­ideas. We would be elated if we won. It is important for business. We are in difficult times at the moment. If we improve the look and safety then we will attract more people. It is a cycle of improvement for all.”

Bromley was awarded £308,700, Penge £70,000 and Orpington £90,000.

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