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In Contact Autumn/Winter 2017

Lighting up the sky in Croydon this Christmas Croydon’s Christmas celebrations will take on a spectacular new look and life of their own this year with a stunning series of giant visual displays lighting up the town centre like you have never seen before.

Produced by 3D projection mapping specialists, Double Take Projections, the five-minute long animations embrace the twin themes of ‘light’ and ‘celebration’ and include performances by ballerina and Royal Ballet dancer Tara-Brigette Bhavnani; Indian dance artist and artistic director Malti Patel; critically-acclaimed street theatre specialists, The Human Zoo Theatre Company and Croydon-based dance company SLiDE which works to give people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to dance. The first in the series of animations will premiere in North End at 5pm on Saturday, 18th November and be the highlight of an afternoon of free family entertainment to be staged from mid-day. Thereafter the animations will be broadcast daily between 4.30pm and 9.30pm until Saturday 23rd December, providing a spectacular backdrop for everything that Croydon has to offer. ‘Festive Fantasia’ is the focal point of five weeks of ‘Christmas Spectacular’ celebrations being organised by

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Croydon BID in conjunction with Croydon Council. The main features of the programme are:

Artist’s impression of Croydon this Christmas

‘Croydon’s Festive Fantasia’ will be the dazzling centrepiece of the town centre’s 2017 Christmas celebrations and involves six speciallycommissioned films showcasing the talents of local performers being projected up to 120 feet in height onto three key sites in North End and High Street throughout the duration of the festive period.

A ‘Festive Lights Street Feast’ on Thursday, November 16th with around 20 street food stalls serving up a tasty and exotic array of offerings between noon and 7.30pm while a swing band and musicians perform live between 5pm and 7pm as a precursor to the town centre’s Christmas lights being turned on. Launch of ‘Festive Fantasia’ on Saturday, November 18th with the first in the series of six giant animations premiering in North End at 5pm and providing the highpoint of an afternoon of free family-focused entertainment staged from mid-day which will include: street food stalls, face painting, children’s disco sessions, a Giant Globe Christmas show featuring Elvis the Extremely Energetic Elf, roving Fire and Ice themed stilt walkers plus performances by internationally renowned Polish Folk Song and Dance Company Karolinka, the Apsara Arts Asian Dance Group and SalsaMania Croydon. Launch of ‘Festive Funk’ on Thursday, November 23rd which will be the first of four live music and street food events to be staged from 5pm until 9pm in Croydon’s newlypedestrianised High Street. Featuring London’s top close harmony trio The Haywood Sisters and the fabulous Brass Volcanoes jazz band, the evening

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promises to be a lively way to bridge the gap between work and play, with three further events also scheduled in on Thursday, November 30th, December 7th and December 14th. “We have decided to break with tradition this year and deliver something that we believe will not only be literally massive but also truly memorable,” commented Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims. “Instead of organising just one afternoon of activities to mark the start of the festive season, we are bringing these absolutely stunning giant animations to town and extending our celebrations to embrace the entire five week festive period so that as many people as possible are able to come and enjoy everything that our fantastic town has to offer, while experiencing for


themselves these dazzling animations, which simply have to be seen to be believed.” Paula Murray, Creative Director at Croydon Council added: “This project is a brilliant way of celebrating local talent at the same time as bringing colour and movement to the walls of the town centre. The team putting them together have a huge amount of experience and this will be a real treat for early evening shoppers or those coming out to enjoy Croydon’s nightlife. Our bid to be London’s first Borough of Culture is going in very soon, and these projections are a literal example to show the judges how the arts in Croydon are really ‘looking up’.” To find out more visit our events website

Croydon bids to become London’s first Borough of Culture Croydon Council has mounted a bid to become London’s first Borough of Culture in 2019, competing against the capital’s 31 other boroughs for over £1m of funding to stage a ‘game changing’ programme of cultural and artistic events. The initiative, sponsored by London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan and the London Assembly, will see two boroughs named London Borough of Culture – one for 2019 and one for 2020 – with the winners each receiving over £1m to enable them to deliver a huge programme of events. A further £500,000 is also expected to be handed to the

winning borough by backers including the Heritage Lottery fund and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. In addition to the winners’ prizes, a further £600,000 will be made available for up to six other boroughs that ‘put forward exemplary projects’. According to City Hall, the winning boroughs will be chosen “based on their artistic vision and ambition to deliver outstanding cultural initiatives in their local area, putting communities at the centre of the programme’s design and delivery”. Announcing details of Croydon’s bid, Council Leader, Councillor Tony Newman said: “2019 will be the first full year of the newly refurbished Fairfield Halls after we spend £30m bringing the venue back to life. It also marks 70 years of the London Mozart

Players. There can’t be a better time for the cultural spotlight to shine on Croydon and this is a truly fantastic opportunity for arts organisations across the borough to share in this project.” If successful, the Council has stated that it will look to match-fund the £1m prize with partnership investment, enabling a total pot of £2.5m to be set aside to ‘deliver a series of events and activities that would leave a lasting legacy and completely reshape the way people see the borough’. Commenting on the Council’s bid, Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon BID said: “With its long and distinguished but often overlooked heritage, remarkable cultural diversity and a steadily growing reputation for staging arts, sports and community-focused events,

Croydon has all the credentials to make it a prime contender in the bid to become the London Borough of Culture for 2019.” “As we continue to work with key partners to highlight the many fantastic changes taking place here and to celebrate everything that is great about our town so that people think differently about it, we firmly believe that Croydon’s standing as a world-class leisure destination will steadily grow, attracting more visitors and investors and that’s why we are backing the bid,” Mr Sims added. The deadline for boroughs to submit their bids is 1st December 2017 with the winners being announced in February 2018.

Checkoutcroydon gets a whole new look With the festive season fast-approaching, there are now even more opportunities than ever to promote your business, products, services and offers – free of charge – through our new-look website Designed to provide a comprehensive and easy-tonavigate guide to all of the shops, bars, cafés, restaurants, nightlife and entertainment available in the heart of Croydon, the newlyrevamped website features expanded what’s on, where to go and offers sections as well as providing interactive advice and information on getting here.

many of Croydon town centre’s best known businesses as well as some that may not be quite so familiar.

Whether it’s for shopping, eating and drinking, socialising, keeping fit, hair and beauty treatments, planning a stay here or having a relaxing night out, features

“We’re really pleased with the initial feedback we’ve had from people who have helped us to test the revamped site,” said Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon BID.

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It even signposts visitors to local service providers including banks, insurers, recruitment agencies and legal advisers who can help with the day-to-day needs of every-day life.


“The improvements that have been made mean that visitors can see at a glance, even more of the events and activities taking place here as well as the impressive range of things to do and the offers that are currently available across the town through our Check Out Croydon loyalty card scheme.” There are now over 83 businesses actively promoting in excess of 100 different loyalty card offers on the website and this number is expected to steadily grow as an increasing number of companies benefit from the repeat custom that the scheme brings. “Now that the website’s free event listings facility is being opened up to any organisation or individual who may be planning to stage an event or activity within Croydon town centre, we

a r e hoping t h a t m o r e and more people will take advantage of this promotional opportunity so that as the town’s redevelopment continues, the site becomes the ‘go to’ place for anyone wanting information about where to go and what’s happening in Croydon.” To register your event visit Alternatively, to find out more contact us on 0208 603 0050 or email

Andy Warhol paints Croydon in a new light ‘Warhol Croydon’, the town’s month-long tribute to one of the biggest names in 20th century art has helped to propel Croydon firmly onto the European street art scene, attracting visitors from all around the globe and earning positive feedback about Croydon from young and old alike. As this edition of‘In Contact’ went to press, analysis of the first batch of 430 surveys completed after the event, indicated that 89% of respondents thought ‘Warhol Croydon’ painted the town in a new light and 79% awarded the event the top rating of five stars. Spearheaded by Croydon’s award-winning RISEgallery, ‘Warhol Croydon’ involved over 140 free events staged throughout September with the twin aims of celebrating the life and works of renowned American artist Andy Warhol and underlining the transformation steadily taking place in the town and its growing arts and cultural credentials. A principal highlight of the event was a unique exhibition of a dozen

giant street artworks, displayed at prominent locations across the town centre. Featuring works by leading contemporary artists such as Ron English, Ben Eine and Rich Simmons, all 12 pieces paid homage to Warhol, 30 years after the artist’s death and generated much positive feedback and comment including on social media. Remarks included: “Having never been to Croydon before, I’m hugely impressed” “Enjoyable, inspiring, made me feel proud about living in Croydon” “I’ve worked in Central Croydon for 30 years and the tour opened my eyes not only to Warhol but also the street art – Fantastic” Hundreds of tourists, residents, artists and

school children took part in more than 60 walking tours of the street exhibition while a specially-developed app enabled others to find out more about the artworks while doing the tour at their own pace. Film screenings, lectures and workshops dedicated to Warhol also featured on the programme of activities, while the RISEgallery welcomed over 7,000 visitors to its exhibition of Warhol originals in St George’s Walk. Commenting on the event which was backed by Croydon BID and Croydon Council, RISEgallery founder Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison said: “We have had visitors from all around the world and the feedback we have had has been fantastic. “Warhol Month really has helped people to discover all that Croydon has to offer and how it has been changing over recent years. As well as people coming from far and wide, what has really been interesting is the number of Croydon residents joining us who don’t usually venture into the town centre.” School parties from across the borough were among those taking par t in the tours while youngsters also had the oppor tunity to create their own Warholinspired ar twork at workshops that helped to demonstrate Warhol’s enduring influence on the modern ar t scene.

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Students on a Warhol Croydon guided tour

Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims said: “Warhol Croydon has succeeded in generating a real sense of excitement and increased pride throughout the town, offering a diverse range of free cultural events with feedback demonstrating a real interest and thirst for more. “Results from the survey forms analysed so far show that 52% of people came into town specially to see ‘Warhol Croydon’ and well over one third of visitors (38%) were from outside Croydon. “Through the delivery and sponsorship of events such as this, Croydon BID works hard to generate a vibrant and memorable atmosphere in the town centre in order to encourage people to see Croydon in a new light. “The fact that people are having a great experience and investing both time and money in the town when they get here is great news for the local economy,” he added. “We look forward to continuing to find new and additional ways of building on this initiative and underlining the transformation that is taking place in Croydon so that more and more people increasingly regard our town as one of the premier destinations in south London in which to work, live and do business.”

Photo shows BID chief executive Matthew Sims (left) with David Domoney.

Silver for Croydon in 2017 London in Bloom

Croydon BID has picked up a silver award in the prestigious 2017 London in Bloom competition, in recognition of its efforts to improve the town centre’s appearance and appeal by investing in hundreds of colourful floral displays and planting schemes at key locations. The BID was one of six organisations competing in the ‘Business Improvement District’ category of the awards which are organised annually by the Royal Horticultural Society. The awards, which this year celebrated their 50th anniversary, were presented by celebrity gardener and TV’s ‘Love Your Garden’ presenter David Domoney. Commending the BID for its environmental improvement work, Peter Holman, judge and Vice Chairman of London in Bloom said: “It is clear that the BID is working

Since Croydon BID was first formed in 2007, it has invested over £1.4 million in a wide range of projects aimed at keeping the town looking its best for everyone that uses it.

the town’s main thoroughfares, the BID has used innovative ways of introducing colour into the town to help brighten up its appearance. This includes commissioning the creation and construction of a stunning new, illuminated art installation opposite East Croydon station, which provides an unmissable, attentiongrabbing welcome to the thousands of people who pass by every day and encourages visitors to venture further afield and ‘Explore Croydon’ and all it has to offer.

As well as funding the installation each year of hundreds of hanging baskets and floral displays along

“Maintaining a clean and attractive environment that is visually appealing and comfortable for people to work,

hard to make the much-needed improvements Croydon needs. “Croydon BID has done much to florally enhance the areas under its remit and the addition of baskets and planters provided by Windowflowers were a significant improvement, especially in Dingwall Road.”

live and do business in has always been high on Croydon BID’s agenda,” said chief executive Matthew Sims. “As the pace of Croydon’s re-development accelerates, our commitment towards keeping the town centre looking its best will undoubtedly grow in importance. We already have a number of other town centre locations in mind that could benefit from some form of future environmental improvement and we’re looking at ways that this could be achieved working in conjunction with our key partners,” he added.

Plans approved for Britain’s second tallest building Croydon is set to become home to a world-famous landmark after the Council granted planning permission for a ground-breaking development in the heart of the town centre. Guildhouse Rosepride’s One Lansdowne development features two towers of 68 and 41 storeys linked by an 11-storey podium

structure and will become the second tallest building in the country, after The Shard. The scheme which is subject to approval by the Mayor of London is designed by world-renowned architect Piers Gough CBE. It will feature 794 residential units, 35,000 square metres of premium office space, retail, a swimming pool and gym, a bar, restaurant and public viewing gallery offering panoramic views across the capital and Surrey.

“With the highest bar and restaurant in London and a viewing gallery open to the public, this really puts Croydon on the map,” said David Hudson, Guildhouse Rosepride chief executive. “The great challenge for Croydon is to change perceptions and this scheme will help it to become a destination in its own right. This will help to achieve that because, in my opinion, it will be a world-famous building.”

It is hoped that work will begin on demolishing the existing buildings on the site by next summer and the estimated build time is just under five years.

About Croydon BID We aim to make everyone’s experience and impression of Croydon town centre a better one so it is regarded as one of the premier destinations in south London in which to work, live, visit and do business. We do that by delivering projects and services that make it a safer, cleaner, more attractive, more accessible and more vibrant place to be. All of our activites are funded through a mandatory 1% levy collected from businesses within the BID area with a rateable value of £40,000 or more. This has led to an extra £15 million being invested in improving the town centre since Croydon BID was first formed in 2007.

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In Contact Autumn/Winter 2017  
In Contact Autumn/Winter 2017