Local firms in Thornton Heath are set to benefit from free business support thanks to a share of the £2.7m being invested in the area by Croydon Council.
Almost £150,000 of Croydon’s New Homes Bonus grant from central government has been earmarked to ensure Thornton Heath’s businesses have the skills and expertise they need to expand and succeed.
The council has appointed Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) to run the recently launched business support programme, ‘Business and Enterprise Support Thornton Heath’ (BESTH), which is a key element of Croydon’s drive to boost business on the high streets of its many district centres. This complements the massive investment currently going into the town centre, where some £5bn is expected to be invested over the next few years, on new offices and homes.
The project in Thornton Heath will also see shops smartened up, better signage put in place, and public art introduced into the area. These are just some of the many improvements designed to make the High Street and neighbouring roads a more welcoming and inviting place to visit and shop.
On a recent visit to Thornton Heath Councillor Mark Watson spent time listening to the views of local business owners. He said:
“I’m delighted to announce the introduction of this exciting new package of tailored business support for Thornton Heath.
“We’re using physical improvements to shop fronts and the public realm as a springboard to help revitalise the area. But what’s critical is the changes aren’t just on the surface. Businesses need to step up to the challenge and offer a wider range of better quality goods and services to meet growing local demand. By working together we can really make things happen.”
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs
Firms who sign up to BESTH will receive one-to-one support or training in a range of areas including company registration, in-store merchandising, food safety, marketing, website development, tax returns, business planning, accessing finance, and recruitment practice – including how to take on work placements or apprenticeships.
CVA, which won the contract to manage this part of the programme, is a locally based charity that has been working with communities in Croydon for over 100 years. CVA successfully undertook a similar business support and job-creation project in London Road West Croydon where 60 new businesses were started and over 80 new jobs were created over two years.
Any local businesses wanting to find out more about the BESTH project can contact CVA’s enterprise manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.