In Contact Winter 2013
Major £1bn regeneration boost for Croydon Town Centre Months of speculation over the future of Croydon Town Centre have been brought to an end following the announcement by developers Hammerson and Westfield that they are joining forces to regenerate the retail heart of Croydon. Under a new joint venture agreement, the two organisations have pledged to spend £1bn on re-developing and combining the town’s two main shopping centres, Centrale and the Whitgift Centre, to provide a major retail, leisure and residential scheme with the potential for hotels and offices and the creation of 5,000 new jobs.
work could commence in 2015. Welcoming the announcement, London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson said: “Croydon has huge potential to return to its former glory as one of London’s most vibrant town centres, and a major driver of its economy. “It’s great news that these two international developers are coming together to drive forward this vital regeneration and put Croydon at the heart of London’s f u t u r e p r o s p e r i t y, building c o n fi d e n c e for investors and local people in one of the capital’s most important town centres.”
5,000 new jobs
A revised master plan will be created combining elements of both companies’ earlier schemes and, subject to planning consent later this year, construction
Westfield’s Chairman, Frank Lowry AC said: “The delivery of a major retail
regeneration scheme will re-establish Croydon as South London’s premier shopping district and will be a catalyst to further investment and development.” David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson said “We have shown our commitment to Croydon through our existing investments in the Town Centre and I believe that by working together we can deliver a world class scheme for retailers and residents”. “This is fantastic news for Croydon and for anyone interested in safeguarding its future and is testament to Croydon’s significance as a strategic, commercial location,” said Croydon BID’s chief executive, Matthew Sims.
project comes to fruition,” he added. See page two for an inside view from Westfield and Hammerson.
“Croydon has huge potential to return to its former glory as one of London’s most vibrant town centres...”
“A collaboration of this size and scale by two world-leading retail developers will present the town with unparalleled opportunities for future growth. “Although there undoubtedly will be many complex issues to address, we look forward to working together with all key stakeholders to ensure the
Tel: 020 8603 0050
Major £1bn regeneration boost
Continued from front page
Michael Gutman managing director UK/Europe, Westfield
Photo courtesy of
David Atkins chief executive Hammerson
“Working together was the right solution”, said David Atkins, chief executive Hammerson and Michael Gutman, managing director UK/Europe, Westfield. “We both saw the opportunity in Croydon, and both got ourselves in strong positions to capitalise on that opportunity to develop a new centre which would create clearer benefits for local residents, retailers, and our respective shareholders. Indeed, we had both lobbied hard to demonstrate why we each believed we were in a winning position. If we had not got together, who knows ultimately which firm would have succeeded.
“What is certain, however, is that any ‘victory’ could well have been a hollow one. The process would have taken longer, with increasing costs and uncertainty hampering the viability of the scheme. A protracted wrangle would clearly not have helped the people of Croydon or our respective shareholders. “By coming together, we can create clarity and certainty for the future of Croydon. Instead of acting as rivals, we will now pool our resources and expertise to get the very best out of both firms. Each of our companies has a superb track record in delivery of game-changing retail schemes for major cities in the UK. “We will create a retail and leisure destination in Croydon that embraces the existing streets and history but delivers a modern, clean and safe environment for people to spend their
leisure time. In total, the scheme of around 2 million sq ft will embrace the existing Centrale and Whitgift centres, but you won’t recognise them when it’s finished. “We will bring the most current fashion brands, high-quality catering, events and entertainment that we hope will not just enhance Croydon, but redefine it. We anticipate that the new centre, which will be groundbreaking in terms of design and functionality, will be a magnet for people from many miles around. “We aim to get planning consent this year, which should mean we will be starting construction during 2015. If we can, we will get on site sooner, but there are still several land acquisitions and other processes that we need to go through to make that happen.
together was very much our own, we are both delighted that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has become personally involved to add his impetus to the project. Many of the historical reasons for the demise of Croydon lie with infighting and an inability to assemble land ownerships – Boris has been explicit that the GLA will not allow that to stall the revised plans for the redevelopment of Croydon’s retail centre. “As our vote of confidence triggers other investment projects, this world class retail destination will be a catalyst for further improvements and forever change perceptions of Croydon.”
“Although the decision to work
About Croydon BID Our aim is to ensure that Croydon increasingly is regarded as one of the best places in the South East 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, upto-date priorities, namely: that the town should be made safer, cleaner, more attractive, more accessible and be better promoted. 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, in excess of £7.5 million of extra investment has been made on improving the Town Centre.
Delivering positive change I was delighted to hear of the joint venture agreement between Westfield and Hammerson. It has reinforced what we all recognise as the potential Croydon has to become an ‘economic super hub’ as described by Boris Johnson. However, the next five years will present a number of challenges for the Town Centre during the planning and construction phase. The role of Croydon BID is focused solely on ‘Delivering positive change’ for Croydon Town Centre. The decline in the nation’s town centres coupled with the current economic climate has been widely reported with falling foot flow and lower sales. We have seen high profile casualties such as HMV, JJB Sports and Jessops falling in to administration, compounding the problems faced by retailers. Instead of reacting to the situation, it is important for Croydon BID to take
the initiative, build on successes and set the agenda for the Town Centre with a pro-active approach. To ensure we are more effective in our approach to delivery, the team has been restructured with a greater focus on the operational and commercial needs of the Town Centre. The team and I have been working on a number of projects aimed at stemming the decline in our Town Centre. Crime and the perception of crime are high on our agenda and we will continue to work with the Metropolitan Police Service and other key stakeholders to facilitate the reduction of crime in our Town Centre. The funding of extra police officers by the BID underlines this commitment to reducing crime. The recruitment of a new Business Crime Reduction Manager will go a long way towards
helping us deliver further tangible results in the fight against crime. We are cleaner and greener thanks to our new partnership with Community Clean. North End has been deep cleaned with High Street, George Street and Church Street to follow. New festivals and events are currently being developed to increase the foot flow and attract shoppers from wider afield with the ultimate aim of increasing spend in the Town Centre. The Olympic Torch relay events in 2012 were a great demonstration of what can be achieved.
Matthew Sims Croydon BID chief executive
objective of giving something back. Watch this space! Finally, we will be looking to improve the overall perception and image of Croydon. We will be working flat out on your behalf to ensure Croydon continues to rise not just locally but nationally. We look forward to working with you for a better, brighter future for Croydon.
The team and I are currently working up a loyalty card scheme aimed at supporting ‘shop local’ and the simple but effective
Award-winning crime scheme goes from strength to strength As the BID-funded Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership (CBCP) commemorates the fourth anniversary of its formation in April 2009, it certainly has a great deal to shout about in the way of landmark achievements.
4% overall reduction in
Described by the Centre for Retail Research as ‘one of the best’ national schemes of its kind, the award-winning partnership, now has 160 active members and has been at the forefront of a range of successful business crime reduction initiatives in the Town Centre which have led to: 19 prolific offenders being banned from member premises
92% of visitors say they feel
12% shoplifting re-offending
Under data protection protocols, information and photographs are shared for ease of identification and at the core of the CBCP’s success is getting known individuals banned from member premises and, in some cases, rapidly before the courts.
rates compared to the national average of 20%
80 individuals being re-
housed following the targeting of rough sleepers
crime last year
Over 90% of businesses say the CBCP has had a positive impact on reducing crime
safe in the town
The Partnership’s four operational arms – BusinessWatch, PubWatch, TransportWatch and HotelWatch – meet for around an hour on a 4-6 weeks basis, to exchange intelligence between members and the police on thieves and those behaving anti-socially in the town.
Tel: 020 8603 0050
The CBCP is fully-funded by Croydon BID and as such, all BID levy payers are eligible for free membership to the relevant sector sub-committee. Thereafter, it is up to each member to determine the level of in-put they want to have. Involvement can range from entry-level intelligence sharing to serving on the relevant committee to steer local strategy, right up to chairing the committee and consequently serving on the main CBCP Board. Board members take an active role in lobbying influential partners and sister organisations to provide a holistic solution to the eradication of crime and anti-social behaviour in the Town Centre. “While we are proud of our successes, the CBCP is by no means resting on its laurels,” said CBCP Chairman, Andrew Bauer
who is also Director of the Whitgift Shopping Centre. “The appointment of a new scheme manager in February will see a raft of new initiatives coming forward from the sub-committees for adoption by the main Board and subsequent implementation with our partners the Met Police, British Transport Police and Croydon Borough’s Safer Croydon team. “In what will remain a challenging economic environment for the foreseeable future, I strongly urge more businesses to join and become actively involved in the Partnership. When set against the benefits to be derived through more secure control of stock, increased staff welfare and profitability, we can guarantee that it is time well spent,” he added. For more information on the CBCP, contact: Robert.Campbell@croydonbid. com or call 020 8603 0050
Sweeping changes across the Town Centre Fresh in-roads are being made into sprucing up the town’s streets as a result of Croydon BID’s latest initiatives to improve the town’s appearance and appeal. Transformation of some of the town’s grimiest areas began in earnest back in November, after the BID company re-introduced its five-nights-per week deep cleansing service, delivered in conjunction with cleaning experts, Community Clean. In addition, a twice-weekly ‘grot-spot’, wash-down and disinfection service is specifically designed to tackle the Town Centre’s most heavily used and grubbiest areas and especially those badly soiled as a result of late night drinking and anti-social behaviour. Drawing on past experience and local knowledge, a comprehensive schedule of work has been developed in consultation with the local business community, so that an effective and cost-efficient service can delivered. Progress is reviewed on a monthly basis and further ‘hot spot’ areas are added as and when required.
“Everyone has a part to play in improving the town’s appearance, by disposing sensibly of litter and gum and by accepting responsibility for the areas immediately outside their own premises,” said the BID’s head of operations, Maria Chapman-Beer. In addition to deep-cleaning and gum removal duties, the two Community Clean teams support the BID through litter-picking, subway cleaning and clearing and tidying up neglected areas of land.They also are geared up to tackle and respond to some of the worst types of fouling issues likely to be encountered from a street cleansing perspective. “In our experience, street littering and street cleansing issues are commonplace everywhere,” said John Andersen, Business Development Manager at Community Clean. “The beauty of our service is that we are multi-skilled and adept at multitasking rather than being focused on only one particular type of activity,” he added. “That means our approach is particularly
well-suited to meeting the many and varied needs of those tasked with safeguarding the interests of town centres and with only finite resources to spare.” An accumulation of grime and grot is inevitable in any commercial environment but it is also important to ensure that deep-cleaning work is carried out at times that will cause the least disruption to businesses and all those working and living here. As a consequence, Croydon BID’s deep cleaning and grot spot teams work mainly through the night and into the early hours of the morning to ensure the town’s main thoroughfares are dirt and rubbish-free, well ahead of the arrival of the town’s heavy commuter and visitor traffic. Although much of the work is carried out at night, early indications are that the BID’s efforts are being noticed. “We’ve already received several positive comments from people living and working in the area, commending
us o n what’s been achieved so far” said Maria Chapman-Beer. “We hope that, as work progresses, the positive change taking place in the town’s appearance will be much more widely noted.” In the meantime, Croydon Council has launched ‘Keep It Clean’, a new antilitter campaign designed to improve the environment, reduce the impact of littering and foster a sense of pride in the town. The campaign is being widely publicised across Croydon and local businesses are being encouraged to lend their support by ensuring they are adhering to their trade waste agreements and disposing of waste responsibly. For further information about the campaign visit: www.croydon.gov.uk/keepitclean. For information about the BID’s initiatives contact: email@example.com.
Red letter day for Croydon Visitor Centre Friday January 25th turned out to be a Red Letter Day for Croydon Visitor Centre customer, Maxine Blair. A customer care agent for OCS at Gatwick Airport, Maxine had called into the Centre to top up her Oyster card, only to learn from deputy manager, Rachel Willis, that she had just become the Centre’s 500,000th visitor.
Maxine had been on her way to her son’s 40th birthday party when, much to her surprise, she was presented with flowers and a pair of tickets to see Thriller Live to commemorate the event. Maxine Blair is pictured (right) with Visitor Centre deputy manager, Rachel Willis.