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Croydon awarded grant to develop Creative Enterprise Zone proposal


Croydon could become home to one of the capital’s first Creative Enterprise Zones after being shortlisted for a grant to further develop the borough’s initial proposal.

The Mayor of London today announced Croydon as one of 11 boroughs awarded a share of a £500,000 fund to develop their bids to be one of three Creative Enterprise Zones set to be announced later this year. The council has been awarded £50,000 to further develop its plans for the zone, where Croydon’s artistic communities would be encouraged to put down roots, and the borough’s creative industries would be supported to flourish, have sustainable futures and contribute to Croydon’s future success. If developed, Croydon’s zone would be located in the heart of the town centre, mirroring the geography of the Growth Zone and Croydon Opportunity Area. It would include Queen’s Square: an area that includes St George’s Walk, RISE Gallery and is home to the borough’s unique street art gallery and would also encompass Croydon’s new Cultural Quarter with the refurbished Fairfield Halls.

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Westfield set to boost Croydon town centre turnover


Croydon’s new £1.4 billion shopping centre development could generate annual turnover of as much as £745 million when it opens in 2022, according to research undertaken by retail consultancy Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH).

The centre, which is being brought forward by joint venture partners Westfield and Hammerson, received planning permission last year and HDH says that gravity modelling, which identifies retail catchment areas and potential shopper spend, shows it could boost Croydon’s overall retail spend by up to £2.7 billion – or 53%. “Our gravity modelling demonstrates the potential success that Westfield Croydon would bring, suggesting it would essentially replicate the transformation seen in Stratford after the development of Westfield Stratford and White City after the development of Westfield London,” says Jonathan De Mello, head of retail consultancy at HDH.

The 500,000 sq ft scheme will be the largest redevelopment of its kind in the UK, and include more than 300 shops, restaurants, cafes, a new multi-screen cinema and a bowling alley. It will also provide 40,000 sq ft of offices and nearly 1,000 new homes. At present, the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres generate 54% of the total turnover for Croydon town centre, but the new centre is predicted to generate 75% of total town centre turnover. HDH’s data also shows that the average gross sales densities across the town will increase by 15%. Thanks to the addition of the new centre, Croydon’s retail catchment area is expected to expand significantly to the south east and south west into Bromley and Wimbledon.

However, although the impact of the new centre is likely to be positive, some areas will suffer, believes De Mello. “Inevitably, there will be losers as well as winners and the development will have a detrimental effect on some parts of the town,” he explains. “HDH’s research suggests that although overall gross sales density increases in Croydon, some areas will have to adapt and improve their offer to respond to the challenges posed by the new scheme.” These issues aside, De Mello says Croydon is set to “hugely benefit” from the new centre, which he says will stimulate the local economy and make the town “south London’s regional shopping destination”.

Source: Property Week
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Construction skills academy opens in New Addington


A new skills academy which provides residents with the chance to undergo training and gain qualifications in construction was officially opened in New Addington today.

The Building Futures Academy has launched as part of the new multi-million pound New Addington leisure and community centre development, and will provide training and qualifications for local people interested in working in construction. The council has partnered with Willmott Dixon who are building the new leisure centre, MRG Services, Carshalton College and Croydon Council’s jobs brokerage service Croydon Works, to provide the training hub.

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Boost for Croydon’s culture scene revealed


Croydon’s burgeoning culture scene is in for a boost with new plans to develop its events programme, rejuvenate its libraries and enhance its museum, alongside the £30 million revamp of the Fairfield Halls.

With major festivals like Croydon International Mela, Pride and Dance Umbrella becoming fixtures on the borough’s cultural calendar, a cabinet report has outlined plans to keep up the momentum on Croydon’s renaissance. Croydon’s programme will continue to develop and include major projects around Fairfield Halls reopening, as well as animating public spaces and places with cultural activity from open-air theatre, live music and dance to street art and installations.

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Ground art commissioned to celebrate Croydon’s places for people


The first in a series of pieces of ground art commissioned for around the borough has been installed in the town centre.

The ground based artwork was installed at the junction of High Street and Park Street and High Street and Katharine Street yesterday evening. The artwork frames either end of the pedestrianised area of the town centre, which it set to become a vibrant public space used for a range of events and performances as part of the year-long trial. Designed by local artist and Croydon School of Art graduate Adam Halliday, the artwork uses bold and distinctive imagery to highlight and celebrate features of the borough’s unique skyline.

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Croydon Local Plan formally adopted


Croydon’s Local Plan, which outlines how the borough will evolve sustainably over the next 20 years, was formally adopted at last night’s full council meeting.

The Croydon Local Plan 2018 sets out the exciting vision for Croydon’s growth and development up to 2036, and brings together the Strategic Policies with the Detailed Policies and Proposals. The document, which earlier this year was declared sound for adoption by an independent planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, details how the council will ensure Croydon continues to be an attractive and thriving place for residents, the business community and those visiting.

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How the redevelopment of Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park is expected to create hundreds of new jobs


A consultancy firm claims the redevelopment of Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park ground will create hundreds of jobs and generate millions for the local economy.

The club commissioned Regeneris Consulting to compile a report on the likely impact of Palace’s plans to build a huge new stand which would increase the ground’s capacity by 8,000 seats. Regeneris’s findings claim the redevelopment should bolster the local economy by £15 million a year, with a large proportion of that money remaining in Croydon.

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Major milestone reached in Croydon railway redevelopment


Croydon Council has welcomed the news vital upgrades to train lines through central Croydon are a step closer to fruition.

The council has been lobbying government for urgent improvements to the Brighton Main Line, specifically in the East Croydon area, to increase the number of trains into central London per hour and reduce over-crowding on services. Network Rail has today announced they have received funding from the Department for Transport, which will enable them to work up detailed designs for the track and station work in the Croydon area; produce an outline business case so informed decisions can be made about funding the scheme to delivery; and carry out a full public consultation to enable the local community, passengers and those directly affected by the work to share their views on the designs. Their initial proposals would also see a new, expanded East Croydon station, with additional tracks and flyover junctions to remove the ‘bottleneck’ just north of the station where services often have to wait, causing congestion. Increasing the number of platforms at East Croydon from six to eight would also form part of the improvements.

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Croydon’s state-of-the-art £6.5 million youth zone gets underway


Work is about to begin on Legacy, Croydon’s new £6.5 million state-of-the art youth zone offering young people a fantastic range of world-class facilities and activities.

Contractors will arrive on the Whitehorse Road site this month to kick-off the extensive programme of works, including the demolition of the former Whitehorse Youth Centre, which will see the centre open in 2019. Developed by the charity OnSide with a £3.25 million investment from Croydon Council, the youth zone will be open every night, throughout the year, to young people aged between eight and 19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs.

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Boxpark Croydon welcomes three new stores


There are three new stores open in Boxpark, each more salivating than the next.

The announcement was made that Chicago Rib Shack, Skinny Kitchen and Sweetbean would be the latest editions to the pop-up mall. Recently opened Sweetbean will be dishing up everything from ice-creams, sundaes, pancakes and even speciality teas and coffees. Just some of the things on the menu include the Nutella freakshake and hazelnut gelato.

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