Croydon’s cultural revival moves a step forward

 

Croydon-based consultancy Mott MacDonald and architects Rick Mather, renowned for working on some of the biggest theatres in the country, will oversee the design of the redevelopment of College Green, at the heart of which will be Fairfield Halls.

Mott MacDonald, of Sydenham Road, has been appointed as the lead consultant for the project, which promises to breathe new life into Croydon’s cultural offer.

Rick Mather Architects will be a key player in the project team, and has a strong track record in renovating theatres. Rick Mather boasts an excellent CV having previously worked on projects for the Royal Festival Hall in central London and the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith.

Mott MacDonald was lead engineering consultant for the Sage Music Centre in Gateshead and for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. The consultancy also has a broad portfolio of international urban regeneration projects.

The project team’s objective will be to deliver a planning application for the College Green area, which includes a full scale refurbishment of the famous Fairfield Halls.

This includes exciting new elements helping to reinvigorate the centre and ensure it is able to grow further and play its part at the heart of Croydon’s cultural life.

The team begins work on the College Green project next month (April) with a view to submitting a planning application by autumn this year.

The regeneration of College Green is central to the revival of Croydon’s cultural quarter, and has the potential to offer an innovative and inspiring area with a lively and sustainable mix of homes, offices, shops and restaurants.

The wider scheme will create a high quality public space and provide a through route to and from East Croydon station, quickly connecting visitors with Queens Gardens, the Clocktower, Surrey Street and Exchange Square.

It is planned to integrate the Fairfield Halls into the scheme, potentially including in the long-term a new entrance on the Ashcroft side of the building on to College Green.

Jo Negrini, Croydon Council’s executive director of place, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Mott MacDonald who were selected because they offer a clear vision for the redevelopment of College Green.

“It is fantastic that they are also a Croydon-based company, and bring with them the knowledge and expertise of Rick Mather Architects.

“This represents an important step forward in the cultural regeneration and economic development of the town centre.”

Paul Bates, Mott MacDonald’s divisional director, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity on so many levels.

“As a locally based company, the regeneration of Croydon’s cultural quarter is of huge significance to so many of us who live and work in the town.

“We also look forward to helping reinstate the Fairfield Halls as one of the most prestigious venues in the country for entertainment and the performing arts.”

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