Croydon’s growth zone, which is set to deliver a £5.25bn regeneration programme creating thousands of new jobs and homes for local people, has been handed a government boost.
As part of a new devolution deal, central government is to grant Croydon the power to retain 50% of new town-centre business rates, and has awarded £7m to help underpin the delivery of a five-year infrastructure programme vital to support the anticipated growth in the borough.
The £350m programme, being delivered by the council and its GLA partner the Mayor of London, is made up of 39 key projects, including transport, schools and community infrastructure, regeneration and public realm improvements, and support for small businesses.
The projects are critical in supporting the delivery of the borough’s £5.25bn regeneration programme that will offer huge economic benefits to residents and businesses, including the creation of 23,500 new jobs and 8,000 homes.
Support for the borough’s growth zone comes after the council, the Mayor of London and partners worked with government to help accelerate the borough’s major regeneration projects.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council, said: “Croydon is changing. This vital backing from central government shows the importance of Croydon to London and the south-east, and supports this administration’s plans to transform our borough.
“Giving us the power to keep some of our business rates and £7m of grant funding will help us fund a multi-million pound infrastructure programme, which is essential to supporting the regeneration and growth of the borough.
“It is set to bring huge economic benefits to our residents and transform Croydon into a modern European city.”
Sir Edward Lister, deputy mayor for planning and policy, said: “The Mayor and council are working hard to breathe new life and vitality into Croydon, so we are delighted to hear the news of this latest boost. It is important that retail and social hubs are welcoming, attractive and reflect the upsurge in confidence in the town. This programme is just one of a number of projects that we are working on as we regenerate Croydon to make it a major driver of our economy.”
Communities secretary Greg Clark said: “We’re devolving powers from Whitehall to town halls across the country, putting power directly in the hands of communities to shape the future development of their area.
“That’s why I’m pleased we are able to offer not just £7m to Croydon’s Growth Zone, but also the freedom to retain local business rates for the next quarter of a century. This will help to deliver the infrastructure and homes that are needed.
“I look forward to seeing for myself how this important investment can make a real difference to Croydon and the lives of local residents.”