Lottery brings London pounds bns

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The Independent Online
Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, yesterday enthused about the National Lottery. It was helping making London "not just a world city but the world city for the new millennium", he said.

Figures produced by the business campaign group London First suggest that Mr Smith's claim is not so exaggerated. Since March 1997, the group has identified an additional pounds 1bn of new investment in the cultural, heritage and leisure industries, increasing the total to pounds 5.6bn. The lottery alone is the trigger for more than pounds 2.6bn of investment in London. Beyond this sector, some pounds 600m is being spent on an extra 10,000 hotel beds, pounds 13bn is likely to go into transport projects by 2004 and billions are going into commercial and residential projects from Paddington in the west to Canary Wharf phase 2 in the east.

However, the survey highlights concerns over skill shortages, underfunding of London Underground, and a fear that some developments could be left unfinished because work has begun before all the money is secured. Telco, the east London community organisation, said training was woefully inadequate. "We anticipate east London will need 30,000 construction workers to cope with the boom but the local TEC is funding only 400 places a year," a spokesperson said.

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