The vision for transforming Croydon town centre into a vibrant place to live, work and visit was explored by council and community leaders, local businesses, developers and investors at the Develop Croydon conference.
The regeneration of the town centre is a key priority for Executive Mayor Jason Perry, who has been working closely with businesses and partners to bring forward the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre and the wider regeneration of the town centre.
As he addressed the event, Mayor Perry said that Croydon is ready to see change delivered, and that progress could be expected in the coming months as the council develops a Croydon Town Centre Regeneration Strategy.
Residents and businesses will be key to developing the plans for Croydon’s future as part of Mayor Perry’s priority to listen to local people. A multi disciplinary team, led by We Made That, has been appointed to work with Croydon’s community groups, residents and businesses, through a varied programme of activities that will shape the vision.
The council has also announced it is creating an Urban Room, a digital space and a physical place in Croydon, which will host conversations, exhibitions and events – many led by the community – encouraging residents to have their say on the town centre regeneration.
“This is an exciting time for the regeneration of our town and it was great to see so many investors, policymakers, and business leaders at the Develop Croydon conference, who are invested in Croydon and delivering a future vision for our vibrant borough.
“We are delighted to launch the development of the new town centre vision and hope that our many communities will get involved through the Urban Room and other events, to help to shape the future of our town.
“But I am not just waiting for regeneration to happen before we take steps to restore pride in our town centre. I am intent on taking action to ensure we are fixing the broken windows of our borough and making our town centre cleaner, healthier, and safer.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
The council is working with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) as it develops a masterplan for its 10-hectare area of land in the centre, which includes the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres, office buildings and multi-storey car parks.
At the conference, Adam Smith, Strategic Development Director at URW, said it is examining how the town centre can be transformed now, through security and safety initiatives, community events – such as the recent Diwali celebrations at the Whitgift Centre – and by creating meanwhile uses for vacant spaces.
He said: “The URW team were delighted to join a fantastic line up of speakers at this year’s Develop Croydon conference, our first since taking full ownership of our scheme in London’s next major and most exciting regeneration zone. We talked about the journey ahead to uncover the huge potential that Croydon has to offer as we finalise our team and external partners to allow us to move to the next stage.
“We have an intensive period ahead including engagement, vision setting, master planning and submission of plans, however, we want to reassure everyone that we are heavily investing in the long-term success of Croydon. The transformation and investment into their town centre will not be a flash in the pan but a considered approach which will deliver a sustainable, creative and diverse destination that is right not just for 2024, but for 2040 and beyond.”
Find out more information on regeneration in the town centre and opportunities to engage at the Urban Room.