In Contact Winter 2016 - 2017
A new year, a new term A message from Croydon BID chief executive, Matthew Sims The arrival of a New Year often heralds a pledge to ring in the changes. Here in Croydon, however, ‘change’ has become the watchword for each and every one of us who has an interest in the growth and future prosperity of our town centre – an interest which undoubtedly has been heightened by the £5.2 billion of private and public investment earmarked for Croydon’s re-development over the next five years. Regardless of the scale and pace at which the town centre’s transformation takes place, one thing remains constant: Croydon BID’s determination to continue making a difference to the mutual advantage of all of the businesses operating here, so that our town increasingly is regarded as one of the best places in south London in which to work, live, visit and do business. In that respect, therefore, it was enormously gratifying to learn in November of the impor tance and value placed upon Croydon BID when the town centre business community voted overwhelmingly in favour of the BID continuing for a fur ther five years. I was genuinely delighted and proud that you
have entrusted me and my team with the oppor tunity to continue building on Croydon BID’s achievements of the past ten years.
networks while working hard to counter the often unwarranted, negative perceptions of safety in the town.
Following on from our success at the ballot, we have been focusing much of our effor ts on planning for the future and for the challenges that we will face together over the next five years in order to ensure that Croydon BID can continue to add value to you, your business and the town centre as a whole as Croydon’s regeneration progresses.
As Croydon’s re-development progresses, ensuring that you, your employees, customers and visitors are kept informed of the changes and any potential travel disruptions will increase in importance and through the provision of regular travel bulletins, maps and guides and enhanced services provided by our roving Street Ambassadors, we will endeavour to ensure you have all the information and support you need to help you get around.
Ensuring that everyone is able to have a safe, comfor table and enjoyable experience in our town centre continues to be our number one priority. Over the coming months, therefore, we will continue to develop many of the services that have already been established and which exist to suppor t you and your business, including our security intelligence-sharing network, the Croydon Business Crime Reduction Par tnership; the Croydon Street Pastors; business crime prevention training sessions and workshops and re-launch of the Croydon Best Bar None Accreditation Scheme, all of which will play a pivotal role in the future success of our town. Our relationships with the Croydon Metropolitan Police and British Transpor t Police will continue to be crucial and we will maintain our investment in extra police officers on the beat and on the transpor t
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Ensuring our streets remain clean and inviting will be crucial as the impact of re-development affects impressions of our town and the work of our specialist cleaning team will therefore increase in impor tance. To help suppor t this, we also have some exciting plans to review and introduce greater greening sites across the town centre, adding additional colour and vibrancy to the streets, alongside our hanging baskets on the town’s main thoroughfares. With Croydon’s growing reputation as an up-and-coming place in which to invest and the many changes that have still to come, the time to consider Croydon, the place, is now. The town’s events, ar ts and cultural scene is definitely changing and at Croydon BID, we are already working on a new programme of events and exploring how we can use alternative spaces
better in order to combine with other activities to make Croydon even more appealing to visitors. Our ‘Street LIVE!’ entertainment programme, Christmas lights switchon and the recently introduced ‘CROWD’ events are just a few of the ways we’ve started to look at attracting new and different audiences into the town and we’ll continue to review and refine these in order to make them bigger and better. What is for sure is that bringing businesses together is a crucial and integral part of our plans moving forward – not only to ensure that we are meeting your needs but also to keep you informed on progress and developments and ensure that you not only have a seat at the table but a strong voice to represent you. In that regard, we will be reviewing our forums to make sure that their content supports your needs. There will be a greater number of networking events and communications to keep you updated and expansion of our Check Out Croydon loyalty card scheme, to help your business reach new and wider audiences. Change walks hand in hand with uncertainty at times. Our aim is to help reduce the uncertainty and offer you the support you need at whatever level and deliver. We look forward to continuing to work with you during these exciting times.
Glittering start to Croydon’s festive season Thousands of people descended upon the town centre in the middle of November for our starstudded Croydon Christmas lights switch-on event which marked the official start of the festive season in Croydon. Nor th End and 16 adjoining streets were transformed into a spectacular winter wonderland as popular 2015 ‘X Factor’ finalists Reggie ‘N’ Bollie were joined on stage by the now, former Crystal Palace Football Club manager Alan Pardew and captain, Scott Dann, to turn on the Christmas lights alongside Croydon’s Mayor, Cllr Wayne Trakas-Lawlor.
from an array of talented street enter tainers, local singers, dancers and musicians and also featured special guest appearances from CBeebies TV stars Abe Jarman and Jane Deane who headed up the cast of this year’s Croydon Christmas pantomime, Aladdin, as well as a visit from heroic pups Chase, Marshall and Skye from TV’s PAW Patrol.
The ceremony provided the glittering finale to an afternoon of lively, free family enter tainment that included performances
Additional games, competitions and enter tainment were laid on throughout the day in both Centrale and the
Photos courtesy of the Croydon Advertiser
Whitgift Shopping Centre, including a visit from the Crystal Palace FC Christmas Roadshow, which provided visitors with the chance to see and photograph Club mascots Pete and Alice, the Crystals cheerleaders, CPFC First Team and Ladies players.
“This was the tenth consecutive year that Croydon BID has lit up the town at Christmas and with all the changes taking place and planned for the town centre as well as the tragic tram events that have recently occurred here,
there was a great deal to both celebrate and commemorate this year,” said Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims. “I am always amazed and touched by the way in which the Croydon community comes together in both good and difficult times and this year’s Christmas lights switch-on provided a wonderful oppor tunity to remember and share with one another the magic
of Christmas as the festive season got under way.” Andrew Bauer, Director of The Whitgift Shopping Centre added: “Croydon BID’s Christmas lights switch-on always heralds the arrival of the festive period at the Whitgift and whilst it provides a family fun event for our local community, it also helps to star t the tills ringing in our retail units and this year was no exception.”
Meet Croydon’s new Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe took over the role of Borough Commander for Croydon, a town with which he has close personal and family ties, on December 10th 2016. challenges faced and the work and plans that he and his team aim to deliver in the future. He previously held a similar position in Bexley after serving 24 years with the British Transport Police and 12 years with the CID, working in a variety of roles including deputy senior investigating officer on the Hatfield Train Crash. He also has extensive public order and events planning experience covering such events as the 2012 Olympics, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Notting Hill Carnival. Here we talk to the new Borough Commander about some of the
1. What do you see are the biggest challenges facing policing in Croydon town centre? The biggest challenge is to create a Complementary Policing Style of approach, where there is a mixed economy of police officers, police community support officers, special constables, cadets, volunteers and security staff who are accredited: all working together in partnership, sharing information and having joint operating protocols. My goal is to provide a truly effective and efficient policing model which fully
incorporates all partners including the local authority and businesses. 2. What are the benefits – and challenges - of working together with the business community? The benefits are quite clear to me. We should all have a shared vision to create a truly vibrant Croydon; a Croydon where people feel confident to visit the area and enjoy all that it has to offer. The benefits of working together are that we can collectively achieve this joint goal and reap the rewards of the positive outcomes this will bring. The challenge is ensuring everyone plays their part and remains focused on the outcome which we are seeking to achieve, rather than be distracted, for whatever reason.
3. What are your thoughts on the role which business crime partnerships and BID’s play with regard to crime prevention, safety and security? I believe effective and efficient business crime partnerships like the Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership that already successfully operates here in Croydon town centre are an essential element in the future progression of Croydon helping to achieve its strategic aim of being a destination location, where people want to live, work and enjoy themselves. Croydon BID has a vital role in co-ordinating, collaborating and seeking consensus within the business community and the CBCP has made significant strides
in helping to cut crime and antisocial behaviour in the town through intelligence-sharing and collaborative working. 4. What initiatives are in place and planned for the future to tackle town centre crime? I believe that a consistent problem solving partnership approach is the most effective method of dealing with current and future crime. There will be times where, due to specific intelligence or a spike in particular crime, we may run specific initiatives to tackle that problem. November’s day-long joint agency blitz on retail crime in the town centre is a good example of what can be achieved when everyone pulls together. In the meantime, the Met is continually looking at new and improved ways of working and the introduction of body worn cameras in Croydon from the start of the year is an important step towards bringing about speedier justice and greater transparency.
5. What is the current position on police resource in the town centre – both during the day and at night? We provide resources from our Town Centre Team, which is partfunded by Croydon BID, in order to focus on the issues of concern; these officers are supported by our response teams, safer neighbourhood teams and criminal investigation department. We also regularly bid for central assets which provide an enhanced level of resources and support. 6. You recently went on a nightshift patrol in the town centre – what was your experience and how do you plan to work with the night time economy going forward? My first shift was an opportunity to go out and see the night time economy at first hand. Croydon Council has some very ambitious plans for the Night Time Economy going forward. I was fortunate to be invited to the Night Time Economy
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Conference held at Croydon College, at which the Mayor for London, Sadiq Khan and the new Night Time Tsar were present. I believe it is vitally important that I work closely with all partners and local businesses to create a truly effective approach. 7. Is the gap between perceptions of crime and the reality any closer and how do you regard the public’s confidence in the police? Against the seven measures set for the Police by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), Croydon MPS has been able to reduce crime by more than 20% over the past four years and this is a fantastic achievement. However the public’s confidence levels, which are more about their overall experience and how safe people feel, are low. I do not believe this should be viewed purely as a policing issue though, as many environmental factors such as graffiti, litter and burnt-out cars, can impact upon a person’s confidence levels.
8. What one bit of advice would you give to businesses to help reduce business crime? Seek advice from our crime prevention officers; work with other partners and businesses to ensure there is a collective approach to tackling crime. Do not try and do this alone; it is more effective to work in partnership. 9. We know that retail crime is vastly under reported, are there any plans in place to help bolster relationships with businesses and encourage them to report it? I would encourage all victims of any crime to report it to the Police. Under-reporting is an issue for many reasons. If we are not aware of the true picture of crime then we cannot provide a truly effective response. Crime trends and intelligence are all vital in assisting us in bringing offenders to justice and ultimately preventing crime. I would ask that you work with us to achieve this aim.
Paving the way for Croydon’s retail centre The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, is expecting 2017 to be another busy year as work continues to bring forward its £1.4bn plans for the regeneration of the Whitgift Centre. The first major milestone is likely to be a decision from the Council on the new outline planning application which was submitted in October last year. This provides for an upgraded scheme, with a brand new store for Marks & Spencer, three levels of shops and additional homes. The outline planning permission will provide the catalyst for work to start on detailed design and for the submission of further applications to secure final approval for the proposals.
At the same time, discussions will continue with key retailers and leisure operators who will be occupying the largest units in the scheme. Further announcements on this are expected throughout the year. On the ground, both the Centrale and Whitgift Shopping Centre management teams will be working hard to continue to provide a vibrant and diverse shopping experience in the town centre with events, promotions and new stores. Superdrug opened its second Croydon store in Centrale before Christmas and is offering a wide range of beauty treatments including a dedicated brow and lash bar. Some minor refurbishment and upgrade works to Centrale are also planned during 2017, which will improve the environment and provide enhanced facilities for customers. Preparations are also being made for the time when the Whitgift Centre has to close by offering a number of
retailers space in Centrale so that they will be able to move across and keep trading. This is a key focus to ensure that the town centre remains open for business and offers a wide choice of shops throughout the construction of the new development. Croydon BID will also play an important role during this time in terms of supporting communications with the public and local occupiers. These moves will take place to allow the Whitgift Centre to trade through the busy Christmas 2017 period. In a wider context, Croydon Partnership will continue to work with all stakeholders, including Croydon Council, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to co-ordinate with the five year infrastructure programme
scheduled for delivery from 2017-2021 to support the significant regeneration proposals in the town centre. The construction programme for the centre is aligned to fit in with this which will minimise disruption during construction. It will also help ensure that Croydon is ready to accommodate the influx of new shoppers, workers and residents when the new centre opens, transforming Croydon into one of the top three retail, dining and leisure destinations in London.
Welcoming Croydon’s newcomers Several major UK employers have begun relocating their headquarters to Croydon town centre since our last edition, providing further evidence of Croydon’s resurgence and reinforcing the growing view that Croydon is becoming the place in south London in which to invest, work, live and do business. Among the newcomers are: The Body Shop which has transferred its international headquarters and around 250 employees from London Bridge to Knollys House, on Addiscombe Road adjacent to East Croydon station. Commenting on the move, Body Shop chief executive Jeremy Schwartz said “Croydon is an exciting area, on the brink of huge change as it goes through a major regeneration programme. It will soon have even more to offer.” EDF has relocated its global corporate HQ from London’s Victoria to occupy two floors within
the recently refurbished Interchange building on Wellesley Road.
environment for the 500 employees working there.
HM Revenue & Customs is establishing a major new regional centre in Croydon and is scheduled to relocate around 2,500 employees into the newly constructed, ninestorey state-of-the-art building at Ruskin Square, next to East Croydon station (pictured).
Boxpark Croydon has opened the doors to its pop-up food and drink mall adjacent to East Croydon station, providing a home for 35 independent food and drink retailers and jobs for over 40 local people.
Superdrug Stores plc is moving its headquarters to recently refurbished offices at 8 Bedford Park to support the future growth of the business and create a ‘collaborative’
Turtle Bay Croydon, the latest in a chain of 15 Caribbean restaurants across the south, opens its doors on January 29th, on the site of the former Tiger Tiger nightclub on Croydon’s High Street, employing around 50 people.
About Croydon BID Our aim is to ensure that Croydon increasingly is regarded as one of the best places in south London to visit, work, live and do business by delivering positive change and improvements to the Town Centre that enhance its competitive position. We represent the interests of around 600 businesses and our projects and services directly reflect their expressed, up-to-date priorities, namely: that the town should be made safer, cleaner, better promoted, more attractive and more accessible. We are funded through a mandatory 1% levy collected from all businesses in the area with a rateable value of £40,000 or more. As a result, since the BID was first formed in 2007, £15 million of extra investment has been made on improving the Town Centre.