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The £40m jobs plan for these North West London boroughs devastated by Covid

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Millions will be spent in North West London to address thousands of job losses brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harrow and Brent councils recently announced support packages totalling more than £40 million to address unemployment in the wake of the pandemic.

An estimated 6,500 jobs were lost across both boroughs in 2020, with a further 6,000 expected to be shed across 2021, according to a recent report by Oxford Economics.

The report notes Harrow’s wider economy shrunk by more than 12 per cent last year – the second-highest figure in London – while in Brent, value dropped by nine per cent.

Now, the councils have made supporting businesses a priority to kickstart the local economies and bring employment back to pre-pandemic levels within three years.

In Brent, £10.6 million, out of a total of £17 million from its Covid-19 reserves, will focus on business recovery – this will cover a new grant scheme for those who were unable to access government funding during the pandemic, as well as pilot schemes to boost footfall in areas such as Church End and Wembley.

There are also plans to develop an app to help small businesses improve their online presence, focusing on encouraging Brent residents to shop locally.

Cllr Shama Tatler, who is responsible for regeneration at Brent Council, said: “Investing in our local economy now will make a big difference as national lockdown support packages wind down.

“We’ve supported businesses throughout this pandemic, and giving them an extra helping hand during this tough time means we can keep more people in paid work.”

In Harrow, the council plans to spend £16 million, financed by external grants, on its economic recovery from Covid-19.

It noted there have been swathes of job losses in the administrative, hospitality and retail sectors in the borough and wants to replace these with “better paid, sustainable employment”.

There are plans to create a specialist jobs board for those who were let go during the pandemic, with the hope of encouraging growth in sectors such as social care.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said: “The strategy seeks to focus on skills and employability, business growth and job creation, sustainable place making and connecting communities.”

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/40m-jobs-plan-north-west-21111066