The plans for Croydon’s new cultural quarter – including the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls – go before the council’s planning committee next week (Thursday 23 February).
Enabling works for the ambitious project, which is being delivered by the council’s development company Brick by Brick, are already under way including the first stage of refurbishment work at Fairfield Halls.
As a key part of Croydon’s overall £5.25 billion regeneration, the development will see College Green and Fairfield transformed into a vibrant destination for arts, education and culture and includes much-needed new homes, various new public spaces, a new college facility, a new art gallery, new shops and office space – all with the new Fairfield Halls at its heart.
The overall College Green regeneration is taking place in three phases over a 10-15 year period and at Thursday’s meeting the planning committee will consider a hybrid application which includes detailed plans for the first development phase. This includes the award-winning design for the new Fairfield Halls, which is undergoing a £30 million refurbishment.
The first phase also includes the demolition of the multi-storey car park to make way for 218 new homes, including much–needed affordable homes.
The plans for Fairfield Halls have already been well-received and won a NLA (New London Architecture) award in the Conservation and Retrofit category in September 2016.
The proposals have also benefited from input from the Theatres Trust, whom Croydon Council invited to carry out a Peer Advisory Review and provide comments on the design of the Fairfield Halls component. Following the review, a number of changes were made to the scope of the project, including changing the seating capacity in the Ashcroft Theatre and altering the get-in plans to the rear of the building.
Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “The College Green and Fairfield development is really exciting and a crucial part of Croydon’s overall £5.2bn regeneration.
“Through this ambitious project we are revitalising an under-used, tired area of the town, turning it into a vibrant public space and re-connecting it with the rest of the town centre, while delivering much-needed new homes, jobs and fantastic arts, leisure and educational facilities.
“The Government’s decision to award this regeneration project £14.2million Coast to Capital funding represents a huge vote of confidence in the plans and their significance not only for Croydon but for their contribution to the economy and growth in London and the South East.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, said: “The new cultural quarter, with the transformed Fairfield Halls at is heart, will put Croydon back on the map as a destination for the arts and considerably expand Croydon’s nightlife.
“The £30 million investment into the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls makes clear that we are putting culture at the heart of our borough’s growth, creating a sense of place and pride as well as opportunities for generations to come.”