Town centre redevelopment moves a step forward as the Croydon Partnership seeks approval for shopping centre plans

The major transformation of Croydon town centre moved closer today as a date was set for a final decision to be made on the plans put forward by the Croydon Partnership – the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson.

The £1.4 billion redevelopment proposal for the Whitgift Shopping Centre is set to go before a special meeting of the council’s planning committee on Tuesday 14 November. Croydon Council has been working closely with the Greater London Authority (GLA), local MPs and the Minister for London to do all it could to ensure the Partnership’s proposals made it to a planning committee.


Croydon’s social enterprises celebrated on Social Saturday

Twenty of the region’s newest social enterprises showcased their businesses at a special event to mark Social Saturday 2017.

The annual event aims to raise awareness of the difference that social enterprises – businesses that put people and the planet first – are making in communities around the world. On Saturday, Croydon’s social enterprise marketplace was set up in the Whitgift Centre where the public could find out more about the businesses, buy their products or support their services. Social entrepreneurs at the event included some past members of the council’s SEEK project, a three-year programme that offers intensive support to people who are not in work to help them set up new social enterprises and gain the skills to help them move into employment.


Menta/Redrow lodge gateway Croydon plans

Regeneration specialist Menta and housebuilder Redrow have submitted planning applications for a major residential-led regeneration scheme next to East Croydon station, and a key piece of infrastructure for the town.

Following community consultation in spring this year, the joint venture developers, along with Make Architects and GL Hearn planning, have submitted a planning application to deliver the Morello Quarter Phase II development on Cherry Orchard Road. A second application has also been submitted for a bridge link connecting Addiscombe, through the Morello II development, into East Croydon station. Morello II proposes 445 homes and landscaped café culture public spaces, along with flexible community and business space, on a gateway site next to East Croydon train station. The development will also complete the public East Croydon bridge link that will provide a connection between central Croydon, with all its shops, facilities and transport links, and the Addiscombe community.


M&G RE signs Solium to Renaissance in Croydon

M&G Real Estate has signed software company Solium to the Grade A office building Renaissance in Croydon, south London.

Solium will relocate from its existing 3,300 sq. ft. offices at Corinthian House in Croydon, doubling in size and taking 10,400 sq. ft. in the 102,275 sq. ft. building. Completed in 2013, Renaissance is located close to East Croydon station, and is accessible to both central London and Gatwick Airport within a twenty minute rail journey. The area has seen a significant increase in office rents in recent years, and stands to benefit further from the £5.25 billion investment programme being undertaken in Croydon town centre.

Free dance events come to Croydon’s town centre next week

Saturday 14 October sees two spectacular free dance performances take place alongside each other in Croydon’s town centre.

Dance Umbrella, London’s annual London-wide contemporary dance festival, is coming to Croydon to present Origami, a spectacular heavy metal pairing of a shipping container and a gravity defying dancer Created by Paris-based Satchie Noro and Silvain Ohl and with music by Fred Costa, Origami is an outdoor event, suitable for everyone. Inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding, this 40 minute show in The Queen’s Gardens is a breath-holding spectacle where the container gently unfurls, creating a three dimensional geometric performance space for dancer, Satchie Noro. See the preview video here.


Croydon bids for 2019 Borough of Culture

Croydon has launched its bid to become London’s first Borough of Culture in 2019.

The initiative, sponsored by the Mayor of London, will see two winners (one for 2019 and one for 2020) each receive over £1 million to deliver a huge programme of events. The project is inspired by the UK City of Culture and European Capital of Culture programmes. The title won’t go to a borough just because of their past cultural record, rather it’s set to be awarded to those who show how they can best use the investment to enact real change. If public opinion has any sway, Croydon is already way out ahead. Right now an on-line ITV poll asking viewers which borough they most think deserves the title has Croydon the clear leader, with 37% of the overall London vote. This may be because Croydon is already starting to attract some amazing events.


Black History Month events in Croydon

October is Black History Month, and as ever Croydon has a range of events that allow people to celebrate the important role that black culture plays in modern life.

This year’s focus is on black institutions that have been actively leading their communities in the borough for 10 or more years. The programme will include opportunities to discover historical events through performance, music, storytelling and song, and also by taking part in thought-provoking discussions. Black History Month helps remember people, places and events from the African Diaspora that have made an historical impact, as well as highlighting those who are making history today.


Big weekend heralds Croydon’s bid for Borough of Culture

This weekend is a big one in the Croydon events calendar, not least because it sees Croydon officially announce its bid to become London’s first ever Borough of Culture.

If successful this will bring over £2 million to Croydon for local venues, promoters, and organisations to invest in a huge programme of arts events throughout 2019. The details of how the bid is being prepared will be announced on Saturday afternoon just before the headline act at the Mela in Wandle Park, where thousands are expected to turn out to enjoy the day. Colors Croydon International Mela features big names from the Asian Music scene, including TazZz, H-Dhami, Tasha Tah, Raxstar, and Arjun. Transe Express and Dhol Academy will be rounding off the night with some spectacular trapeze and drumming performances, whilst earlier in the day there will be dance displays for all ages in the Aspara Arts’ Magic Mela and a carnival procession will makes its way around the park. The programme spans three stages, and the Mela includes the ever-popular Taste of Asia Food Market plus a quality bar.


Croydon Business Month to launch next week

A programme of events that aims to support and help develop Croydon businesses is to take place throughout October as part of Croydon Business Month.

More than 40 free events have been organised by the council and its partners to take place around the borough, offering tips and advice for those looking to start or already running their own business. The schedule of events come just weeks after the Small Business Commission, set up by the council to investigate the barriers to growth for local small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) in Croydon, presented its findings to over 100 local businesses. The report recommended ways in which the council and its partners could further support the development of local small businesses.


Croydon’s first arts store to open in the heart of town centre

A former furniture store in the Whitgift Shopping Centre is to be temporarily taken over by a consortium of local and neighbouring arts organisations.

Croydon Arts Store (CAS) will open its doors at the former site of Grange furniture store on Thursday 28 September and will provide a participatory visual arts and events programme with a focus on youth engagement and learning. Spread across four floors, Croydon Arts Store will hold arts workshops and activities, have an artist residency space, be the new home for artist-led project Turf’s ongoing free exhibition and public events programme, and host a research space to develop a Croydon biennial art exhibition in partnership with Kingston School of Art. There will also be a free bookable area available for young creatives to propose projects for the public programme – this can range from events, workshops, screenings, performances and more.