Sadiq Khan has on Wednesday announced he will provide additional funding to revitalise London’s high streets in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thirty-five projects across the capital will each receive £20,000 to help boost employment, bring vacant shops back into use and protect cultural and community spaces.

The British Retail Consortium estimates around 5,000 shops across the UK have closed since the start of the pandemic while 10.7 per cent of shops in Greater London remain vacant.

The Mayor of London said “we need to be bold and innovative” to ensure the survival of London’s high streets which he called “the heartbeat of our economy”.

Mr Khan said: “I’m pleased to be able to announce new funding for projects all across the capital that are leading the way coming up with solutions for the future of our high streets. Whether it’s new ideas for shared working space, bringing old offices back into use or providing space for exciting cultural activities, these ideas will stimulate economic activity and also enrich social and cultural life in our local communities.

“I’m doing all I can to encourage Londoners to safely return to our high streets, but these ongoing partnerships with councils and businesses across the capital will be vital for guaranteeing their future growth and prosperity.”

Projects have been allocated funding include an “urban youth room” in Notting Hill Gate which will be a permanent space for young people to display work and deliver projects on the local high street. In Barking, money will be provided to help convert a vacant council office building into a hybrid working space.

The scheme is supported by the London Economic Action Partnership which incorporates City Hall, local councils and businesses.

Overall, the partnership will deliver £4 million of funding to support London’s high streets as businesses look to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.