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The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced he is investing £23m to help return Croydon to its former glory as a major commercial centre and contributor to the capital’s economy, following the August riots that devastated the town centre

He also unveiled detailed plans developed by the borough and its public and private sector partners, in conjunction with City Hall, to improve the town’s public realm and infrastructure to deliver growth and jobs and make it a beacon for tourists and investors

The money is a large chunk of the Mayor’s £70m Regeneration Fund set up to help repair the damage caused to high streets and town centres in the August riots, £20m of which was secured from central Government and the rest from City Hall. Croydon is also set to benefit from the Mayor’s £50m Outer London Fund designed to grow economic activity and drive employment in parts of London that are benefitting less directly from major infrastructure improvements like Crossrail and the 2012 Games.

Channelling £23 million from the capital’s regeneration pot specifically into Croydon the Mayor aims to harness the momentum of strengthened faith and pride that has galvanised the historic town’s communities since the summer to create an even better place to live and work. This is in addition to the more than £70 million that Croydon Council and its private and public investing sector partners, including Transport for London, are already putting into town centre public realm improvements which has recently culminated in retail giant Westfield’s decision to develop its third shopping mall in this part of the capital.

The Mayor’s investment will support work across the four following areas:

- £5 million to improve the key entrances to Croydon, making them welcoming with more space for pedestrians and improving the transport interchange around West Croydon station, and the junction of Dingwall Road and Lansdowne Road near the new East Croydon station footbridge.

- £7 million to repair and strengthen Croydon’s high street including its main north-south high street.

- £6 million to make Croydon better connected by removing barriers to walking and improving routes between key destinations with improved pedestrian crossings across the Wellesley Road at Bedford Park Road, Lansdowne Road, George Street, the Fairfield Halls and Edridge Road.

- £5 million to attract business with a three year package of support.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Croydon is ripe for investment and the devastation of the August riots is a reminder of the urgency of investing serious sums into this potential economic powerhouse. South London is critical for capital’s long-term economic success and prosperity. Its people deserve to live in attractive surroundings and the rest of London needs the jobs, opportunities and economic growth that Croydon has so often created throughout its long history.”

Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher said: “Croydon is committed to investing in major regeneration. The funding from the Mayor of London will help us to realise many of our ambitions.

“There have been plans in the past that never got off the ground. Now we are seeing things really happen in Croydon. Coming so soon after the Westfield announcement this shows there is a real buzz about Croydon right now.”

Alongside Croydon, the Mayor’s £70m Regeneration Fund will also see major investments in 13 other boroughs across the capital including Tottenham, whose regeneration plans will be revealed early in the New Year.

Addressing ‘Develop Croydon’, an annual, private sector funded, one-day summit about development and economic renewal in the town the Mayor unveiled details from some of the other proposals put forward for funding from boroughs including Camden, Enfield, Ealing, Hackney and Southwark. These include:

- A package of improvements to regenerate Southall, including a £1m investment to develop a disused historic building to rejuvenate part of the town centre and create a new apprentice-led destination restaurant and training facility.

- £600,000 to help Enfield develop commercial market gardening on its extensive farmland, bringing more than 500 local jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.

- £1.5m to help Hackney create a fashion outlet hub in the town centre, building on existing footfall to the Burberry outlet store, bringing increased visitors and spend to the area and creating at least 200 local jobs, whilst upgrading and improving a key piece of public realm in Hackney Central

- £4-5m for a package of measures to improve Peckham Rye station, creating a public plaza, retail space, jobs and a world class gateway to the area

- £2m for a range of public realm works to improve the area south of Camden Town and spread economic activity further through the town centre, creating new opportunities for jobs and development

All proposals aim to bring long term growth, jobs and prosperity to their borough and will be subject to public consultation, as appropriate and planning approval. They will then be submitted to the Mayor’s Regeneration Investment Group with final agreement expected in early 2012.

The Mayor’s £70m Regeneration Fund is in addition to the existing £50 million Outer London Fund, designed to grow economic activity and drive employment in parts of London that are benefitting less directly from major infrastructure improvements like Crossrail and the 2012


Written by Scott Buckler
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 9:09

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