Members of the two councils have said they would welcome any investment into the area because a 2012 government pledge to invest £50 million in regenerating the Old Street Roundabout into Europe’s largest indoor civic space fell through.
“From what I understand it was an informal decision made from a small get together between [London Mayor] Boris Johnson and the Chancellor of the Exchequer [George Osborne] – it came out of a lunch,” Islington authority leader Richard Watts told the local press.
“I was never that taken by the business plan for building in the middle of Old Street Roundabout, I thought it was quite misconceived, but what is absolutely vital is that Tech City has some direct benefits to the people that live both in the Hackney and Islington sides,” he added.
Hackney Cllr for regeneration Guy Nicholson also criticised the government for how vague its Tech City improvement plans are.
“This so called £50 million came through back in 2012 when it first emerged and it was buried very deep in George Osborne’s budget. It then became very clear that this money which had been allocated for Old Street regeneration was increasingly what I would describe as being focused on some kind of institute which nobody really knew anything about,” claimed Nicholson.
“It was very ambiguous but one of the first things that we did raise was actually that a £50 million investment into Tech City would be extremely welcome,” he added.
More Interaction And Clarity Needed
According to the two Cllrs, the multi-million pound investment has never been seen by the area and conversations with the Mayor of London about investments and injections into the community should have been discussed.