Wandsworth shortlisted for top award

Published: Thursday, November 7, 2019

Wandsworth Council has been shortlisted in the Driving Growth category of the Local Government Chronicle Awards.

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The prestigious national awards are designed to showcase the most innovative ideas and celebrate the best talent in local government. The Driving Growth category highlights the key role councils play, both in their own right and in partnership with other organisations, in growing local economies.

Wandsworth has been shortlisted for its work driving growth while at the same time ensuring investment brings real benefits, such as jobs and homes, for local people.

This work is led by the council’s Economic Development Office (EDO) in partnership with a range of internal and external partners. For example, helping to secure a commitment to extending the Northern Line to Nine Elms has driven the council’s growth ambitions with the completion of nearly 4,000 homes, with a further 12,000 in the pipeline, as well as securing and co-ordinating infrastructure investment including schools, health centres, cultural events and facilities and open spaces.

This has helped to attract the US Embassy, Apple and Penguin Random House to the area, and the council is looking to attract more businesses and enterprise through the development of a Battersea Design and Technology Quarter.

The EDO works with partners to provide practical support to the borough’s small businesses through its award-winning events programme and the newly established Wandsworth Enterprise Hub online support portal. Its Work Match jobs service has helped more than 1,400 borough residents find work, training and apprenticeships and is gearing up for the opening up of Battersea Power Station to the public in 2021 with the creation of 15,000 jobs.

It works closely with high street businesses and Business Improvement Districts to support the borough’s town centres and Putney was recently shortlisted for support from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

Cabinet member for economic development, skills and employment, Cllr Jonathan Cook, said: “The council has worked hard to realise the growth potential of the borough, its businesses and residents. We were recognised as London’s Best Borough for Small Businesses in 2017 and we continue to support our town centres as business and community hubs.

“In recent years we have been working to create an entirely new central London neighbourhood and to take our local residents and businesses with us. We have also focused on building homes and helping people into employment across the borough.

“I’m delighted that the hard work of the EDO and their colleagues in other teams has led to this shortlisting, and that the key role local councils play in driving economic growth and opening up opportunities for local people is being recognised.”

The winners will be announced in March.