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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006, 15:34 GMT
Tornado area's 260m revamp plans
Photo sent in by Sasha Roberts
The tornado affected 1sq km of the city
Residents and business owners affected by last summer's tornado in Birmingham could be set to benefit from a 260m renovation of the area.

Plans have been announced for the scheme in Sparkbrook over the next 10 years, creating up to 2,000 jobs.

The city council is to pay 15m and wants 55m from the government, with other organisations providing the rest.

It said July's tornado was the worst natural disaster in the city's history, damaging buildings, cars and houses.

Tabriz Hussain, from the Asian Balti Restaurant Association, has welcomed the news saying he hopes the scheme will boost business.

'Vibrant and sustainable'

The Neighbourhood Renewal Plan for South East Birmingham will be presented to the council's cabinet on Monday.

It is the basis of the council's request for the government's backing for the rebuilding programme.

Councillor Mike Whitby, leader of the city council, said: "The tornado was the worst natural disaster ever to happen in Birmingham, leaving residents homeless and businesses unable to operate for a period.

"Fortunately there was no loss of life and the majority of businesses are now up and running again and most residents have been able to return home.

"Our plan aims to rebuild Sparkbrook with a vibrant and sustainable local economy of which local residents and the whole of Birmingham will be proud."

If the government agrees to the funding request the council will draw up proposals to put the project into practice.

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