In Contact Spring 2016
Help shape Croydon’s future Your views are important to us Take one look up at the number of cranes on Croydon’s skyline and it is clear to see that the town centre has started on a remarkable journey that ultimately will lead to its transformation.
With the scale of change and potential upheaval set to accelerate even further over the next five years as several major developments get under way at the same time, Croydon BID has embarked on a major consultation exercise with businesses to find out what they regard as the future priorities for the town centre. A four page questionnaire, developed in conjunction with Croydon research group, The Campaign Company, has been mailed out to around 600 local and head office business contacts to gauge opinions over the BID’s current priorities and performance as well as its present projects and services. In addition, the survey, which is also available on-line, aims to capture views and suggestions on new projects and initiatives that businesses feel will be important over the next five years. Since Croydon BID was first formed in 2007, its aim has been to ensure that everyone’s experience and impression of Croydon is a positive one so that the town increasingly is regarded as one of the best places in south London in which to work, live, visit and do business. Through consultation with town centre businesses, the BID’s priorities have focused principally upon delivering projects and services designed to make the town safer, cleaner, better promoted, more attractive, more accessible and on representing the interests of
businesses on mutual concern.
“Croydon BID is proud to have been at the heart of many of the positive changes that have taken place in the town centre over the past ten years, investing over £15 million in projects and services designed to give Croydon a competitive edge,” said Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims. “The BID’s achievements during that time have been both varied and many and there is still a great deal more yet to do. “However times clearly have changed and, as the town centre faces its biggest transformation and possibly the lengthiest period of disruption since the 1960s, we realise that the priorities of our levy payers may have changed too and that is why we have embarked upon this extensive piece of consultation,” he added. To supplement the survey findings, three consultation workshops were conducted by the BID in February to provide businesses with the latest news on some of the changes and developments planned in the town centre and to generate discussion and debate among businesses regarding the future priorities for the town. “These are exciting times for Croydon and with £5.2 billion worth of private and public sector investment earmarked for our town over the next five years, its prospects for future growth are more assured than ever,” said Mr Sims.
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“To enable the BID to continue working in the best way possible for the local business community, it’s important that we fully understand what Croydon’s regeneration means to our levy payers and what they feel are the future opportunities and challenges to be faced. “As Croydon BID nears the end of its second five-year term, it is important that we obtain our levy payers’ views and suggestions on how we can best support them and their business over the next five years in order to help us shape our proposals for 2017-2022,” Mr Sims added. “Your views are extremely important to us and as well as thanking those who have already completed the questionnaire, I really would urge everyone to take a few minutes
to complete the survey to help us determine the future priorities for the town centre and enable the BID to build the strongest possible case for a third five year term.” This autumn, all eligible businesses in the town centre will be invited to vote for Croydon BID to continue for a further five years. Without a majority ‘yes’ vote at the ballot, all of the projects and services that Croydon BID currently delivers will come to an end on March 31st, 2017 and five years of future investment – an estimated £8 million - will be lost. To obtain a copy of the survey contact Croydon BID on 020 8603 0050 or visit www.croydonbid.com/ help-shape-the-future. All responses will be treated in strictest confidence. Closing date: March 11th 2016.
Schemes under way or approved • Boxpark Croydon - an 80 unit ‘pop up’ food, drink and entertainment mall adjacent to East Croydon station
•R uskin Square – 2 million sq ft of offices, shops and homes adjacent to East Croydon
• Interchange, Station Road – 180,000 sq ft Grade A office building
•S affron Square, Bedford Park – 43 storey tower with 791 new homes, shops and cafes
•O ne Lansdowne Road - 55 storey tower with consent for 397 apartments, a 217-bed hotel and 180,000 sq ft of offices
• Whitgift Centre - £1bn+ redevelopment with 1.3 million sq ft of retail, leisure and dining space plus up to 600 homes
Street ambassadors prove to be a hit in Croydon Just six months after making their first appearance in the town centre, Croydon BID’s Street Ambassadors are making a real difference to all those looking for directions and information on what’s going on in Croydon. Easy to spot in their highly distinctive, pink ‘I’m here to help you’ uniforms, Eleni, Fabio and Michael are members of the street concierge service, introduced by the BID, to ensure everyone in town is greeted with a friendly smile and warm welcome. The trio are deployed nine hours a day, five days a week with the primary aim of meeting, greeting and assisting those in the town centre.
Working alongside the BID’s specialist cleaning team, the Ambassadors have helped to identify well over 600 environmental and cleansing issues, such as graffiti, grime and fly-tipping, all of which are targeted for swift attention.
Since their debut here, they have provided help to over 13,000 individuals, with directions to the Home Office, the nearest train and tram stops and the Whitgift Centre being amongst the most frequent requests for information.
Supporting the needs of the local business community is also high on the team’s agenda and since September, they have undertaken well over 500 ad hoc and scheduled visits to local businesses plus a further 700 informal visits.
The team also plays a crucial role in ensuring our streets create a good impression, patrolling the town centre weekly to spot areas of potential concern and help ensure any necessary remedial action is quickly put in place.
“Since arriving in Croydon, the Street Ambassadors have definitely made their mark, helping the BID to provide a core service to our levy payers and the business community at large,” said Croydon BID chief executive, Matthew Sims.
How to avoid falling victim to doorstep criminals and rogue traders, deterring burglars and car thieves, travelling safely on public transport and securing personal possessions were just some of the topics covered at the event, staged in the Whitgift Shopping Centre.
Free crime and safety advice was available direct from the experts at a special one-day event organised by Croydon BID in February.
Information on the help available to those affected by crime was also on offer and small security items, including anti bag-theft devices and personal alarms were given away.
Delivered with support from the Metropolitan Police, Croydon Council and the Safer Croydon Partnership, the aim was to raise awareness of the wide range of security advice, information and services readily available.
The Metropolitan Police’s Safer Neighbourhood and Counter Terrorism teams, British Transport Police, Croydon Council’s trading standards and the London Fire Brigade were amongst the organisations represented, alongside voluntary groups such as Victim Support, Neighbourhood Watch, Turning Point and Croydon Street Pastors.
“We are now also able to act more swiftly and more pro-actively than ever before to the issues experienced in the town centre.
“With so much change taking place in future, I have no doubt that the role they perform will continue to grow in importance.”
Commenting on the event, Shaun Webster, head of operations at Croydon BID said: “Ensuring everyone’s experience of the town centre is a positive one and increasing people’s sense of well-being is at the heart of everything we do. “Events such as this are an ideal way to showcase the many initiatives that are in place and the fantastic work that is done to help us achieve those aims. “They are also a great way of providing advice and information direct to the public about the practical steps that they can take to improve their own safety and to enable people to meet the safety teams face to face.”
Metropolitan Police Borough Commander, Andy Tarrant added: “Croydon is already a safe place and getting safer and we support any initiative that reduces the fear of crime and minimises the chance of people being a victim of crime.”
Have fun and do your bit for Sports Relief There will be a decidedly competitive air pervading across Croydon town centre later this month, when people are invited to come into town and do their bit in aid of Sports Relief. From 11am – 5pm on Friday and Saturday, March 18th -19th, a series of wild and whacky challenges is being laid on by Croydon BID, in the drive to inspire, energise and entertain visitors, in return for a small donation to the charity. Whether it’s shinning up an eight metre high climbing wall or competing in the less-strenuous Crazy Cube Zone - complete with its pyramidbuilding and sticky-notes challenges there will be something for everyone, no matter how adventurous they are.
challenge will add to the fun and excitement and, provided you are willing to use a bit of pedal power, there is even the chance to make your own refreshing smoothie, on bicycles especially created for the purpose.
Even armchair sports fans will be catered for, with plenty of deckchairs for them to sit back and relax in, while enjoying both the sights and the sounds of live music, which will also be performed throughout the day.
A four day continental market (from Thursday, March 17th – 20th) will add to the colourful, fun-filled atmosphere in North End, as Groupe Geraud International Street Markets, one of the largest market operators in the country, makes a welcome return with its mixture of exotic foods, crafts and gifts.
many people’s minds are starting to turn towards outdoors pursuits and healthy eating,” said Croydon BID’s head of operations Shaun Webster.
Inflatable games including a surf simulator and basketball hoop
“With the imminent arrival of the first day of spring, it’s inevitable that
“We’ve got a series of exciting and varied activities planned over the four
Croydon BID’s head of operations, Shaun Webster said: “We are always on the lookout for new and ground-breaking ways of introducing something that’s positively different into Croydon town centre and our busking initiative seems to have definitely hit the right note with the public, many of whom have expressed appreciation over the high standards of performances to date.
Street LIVE! hits the right note with shoppers Live music lovers have been on the receiving end of a series of fantastic, foot-tapping musical treats over the last few months, after Croydon BID embarked on a new initiative, designed to set new standards for performing and promoting live music in the town centre. The sounds of blues, soul, jazz, folk and much more, have been filling North End’s pedestrian area since October, as musicians and singers strut their stuff in front of crowds of shoppers, prior to performing at one of the town centre’s licensed music venues in the evening. Introduced as part of Croydon BID’s Street LIVE! entertainment programme, the venture is a collaboration with Croydon Council and local licensed venues and aims to support the provision of live
entertainment in the town centre in the evening, by promoting local artists and venues. As part of their booking, artists perform twice during the day in North End for a set fee, as a means of promoting their evening’s performance, as well as raising money. “Street LIVE! is a fantastic initiative that brings quality live music into our town centre and provides a great opportunity for unsigned artists to showcase their music within the
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day period and we’re hoping that as many people as possible can be persuaded to leave their sofas behind and come into town to join in the fun, while ultimately helping a good cause at the same time.“
performance area in North End,” said Esther Sutton, owner of The Oval Tavern, one of the licensed music venues supporting the initiative. “We are delighted to be involved with a project that celebrates local talent whilst also offering a platform for musicians new to playing in the town. There is an awesome live music scene in Croydon and it’s wonderful to see it promoted in this way,” she added.
“Tens of thousands of people come into Croydon every Saturday, so playing a couple of half hour sets during the course of the day is guaranteed to provide street performers with an incredible amount of exposure so it’s a win-win all round,” he concluded. Further acts are being scheduled to perform over the coming months. Visit www.croydonbid.com or www. checkoutcroydon.com for further details.
Discount card scheme grows in value Almost two and a half years after it was first introduced, the popularity of Check Out Croydon, our free discount card scheme continues to grow. Launched to help boost trade in the town centre by rewarding customer loyalty, the scheme’s supporters have continued to grow steadily in number as businesses increasingly recognise its value in reaching new and wider audiences, as well as assisting with employee engagement. There are now well over 20,000 Check Out Croydon loyalty cards in circulation, some 8,000 of which are in active use by residents, employees and visitors to the town, all keen to bag themselves a bargain. Since launch, it is estimated that savings worth in excess of £90,000 have been achieved by Check Out Croydon card holders. The card has even won fans from across the globe, with holidaymakers from Australia being amongst those who have
Croydon card scheme, I was a bit slow in realising its potential. “Since I introduced the card scanners on our bars and provided the cards to our customers, they have all expressed great interest in it and it has shown just how welcome the scheme is.
registered in order to take advantage of the deals available during their visit. Around 70 of Croydon’s bestknown businesses are now signed up to the scheme, which currently provides access to 200 discounts and offers from shops, bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, gyms and other service providers across the town centre. Participating businesses benefit from twice weekly, targeted e-marketing campaigns promoting specific product lines, discounts and seasonal offers and the 300+ campaigns that have been delivered to date have been supplemented by regular PR and social media activity as well as media and outdoor advertising. Commenting on the popularity of the scheme, Peter Goatley, manager of The George pub said: “Having only recently taken over the pub and not really knowing much about Croydon or the Check Out
“We offer 10% off food with the card and have seen a great response which will only benefit our sales. I certainly will be looking to introduce more offers in the near future as it is a great, free advertising tool for the business,” he added. To help raise awareness of the benefits that the loyalty card can bring and encourage more businesses and shoppers to get involved, the BID has staged a series of dedicated promotional and VIP events in the town as well as organising several ‘open days’ in conjunction with a number of Croydon’s top employers. “We worked with Croydon BID to promote Check Out Croydon at our staff conference and this allowed us to offer this additional, free local benefit to staff, many of whom not only work in the
borough but live and shop in Croydon too,” said Jeremy Gray, chief executive of Evolve Housing + Support. “The card activation process was quick and simple, allowing many staff to benefit and I would definitely recommend other companies to contact the BID to set up similar opportunities for their staff.” Croydon BID business support manager, Keely Dench, who oversees the loyalty scheme added: “The aim of the loyalty scheme has always been to help set Croydon apart and give it a competitive edge over neighbouring towns by incentivising customers and giving people a further reason to shop here. “We are really pleased with the success of the scheme so far and believe that its relevance and the rewards it brings to both businesses and cardholders will only grow in importance as large-scale re-development of the town centre takes hold in future. “The benefits to businesses and their employees are self-evident and as involvement in the scheme is absolutely free of charge to levy payers, it really makes absolute sense to get involved.” Find out how you can get involved by visiting www.croydonbid.com. Alternatively, contact Keely Dench on 020 8603 0050 or email keely.dench@ croydonbid.com for more information.
Businesses invited to showcase undiscovered Croydon second most powerful man during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign.
Local businesses are being invited to get behind this year’s Croydon Heritage Festival by helping to showcase ‘Undiscovered Croydon’. Organised by The Whitgift Foundation, the event runs from June 18th – 26th and will kick off with Croydon Heritage Day in North End, where there will be a live stage showcasing Croydon’s talented musicians and performers, plus a range of family-orientated activities and stalls from local charities and community groups. This year’s festival theme,‘Undiscovered Croydon’, aims to take people on a
journey of discovery and exploration to reveal Croydon’s iconic locations and residents, little-known facts or best kept secrets of the area. Martin Corney, chief executive of The Whitgift Foundation, said: “Now in its fourth year, Croydon Heritage Festival continues to grow, thanks to the support of organisations taking part and the increasing number of visitors attending.
“Croydon has a vast amount of heritage that is often overlooked or unknown - from its 150 listed buildings to a host of famous residents, not least the author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Archbishop John Whitgift, the
“We would like to hear from anyone who would like to get involved to showcase the best our Borough has to offer.” For more information visit www.croydonheritagefestival.co.uk
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.