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London 'let down by industrial decline' says report

INVESTMENT in housing, brownfield redevelopment and transport should be at the heart of London's forthcoming development, urges a major report published today.

The document, Building London's economy, says the capital, described 'as Europe's only world city' is of 'dominating' significance for the whole British economy, producing 15% of GDP and contributing £20bn annually to the Exchequer.

But despite high powered financial service sectors and other strengths such as tourism, the city is let down by some of the most extreme and rapid industrial decline in the country. Economic and social degeneration in some outlying areas shows some of the worst social conditions in Britain, says the report.

Thames Gateway in particular is cited as a major construction challenge, with a quarter of the brownfield sites in the south east.

'What drives London is the success of businesses large and small, ' said Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge in a speech launching the report this week. Well known as chairman of British Airways, he also chaired the London Development Partnership which authored the report.

The LDA proposals are intended as a framework for the new Mayor's office which will be set up in July following the first mayoral election in May.

The LDA is a key part of the new mayoral structure and its members will be appointed by the Mayor and the elected London Assembly.

Building London economy - A strategy for the Mayor and the London Development Agency. For a copy ring: (020) 7248 5555

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