In Contact Winter 2015
Croydon BID’s campaign to promote responsible drinking and safer nights out has been given the thumbs up by licensees, businesses, the Council and Metropolitan Police. The Wise Up! campaign was launched in the run up to the Christmas, to focus attention on some of the issues affecting Croydon’s night time economy and to emphasise, in particular, what pub-goers and night clubbers themselves can do to feel confident of having a trouble free night out. Devised with support from Croydon licensees, the campaign highlights some of the risks that people run through excessive drinking and rash behaviour. It also emphasises the importance of planning ahead for a safe night out. Messages about knowing your limits, safe drinking, looking after your belongings, staying out of trouble and forwardplanning to get home safely, all feature on posters and leaflets that have been distributed through pubs, clubs and late night venues across the Town Centre to drive the message home. High profile, outdoor advertising sites across Croydon were also used in the run up to Christmas to reinforce some of the messages to the public at large. “We launched Wise Up! at the start of the party season, to serve as a timely reminder to those planning to celebrate Christmas in Croydon about the importance of drinking and behaving responsibly and the need to plan ahead,” said Croydon BID’s business crime reduction manager, Shaun Webster. “The advice and guidance featured in the campaign is equally as relevant at any time of the year and I’d therefore encourage anyone planning to socialise in the Town Centre to pick up one of our leaflets as it also contains lots of information on getting home safely by bus, tram or taxi which could definitely come in handy late at night.” Wise Up! is the latest in a series of important initiatives supported by Croydon BID, the Police and Croydon Council that are helping to increase feelings of safety in the Town Centre. Foremost amongst these initiatives is the Best Bar None accreditation scheme, designed to raise the standard of licensed premises’ management and the Croydon PubWatch banning scheme, introduced by licensees in September 2013 to deal head-on with persistent and serious offenders.
Since its launch, the exclusion scheme has led to 13 people being banned from all 29 PubWatch member premises in the Town Centre, while a further 95 individuals have received warning letters advising them they face a ban if their behaviour persists. “The Wise Up! campaign is about making people aware of what simple steps they can take to make sure that they stay safe on their night out through to their journey home,” said Police Inspector Martin Roche. “It’s also about making it clear that
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anyone looking for trouble is not welcome here and we’ll continue to work with the BID and other partners to make the Town Centre even safer.”
irresponsible behaviour over the festive season, helping us to fulfil our duty of care to our customers as responsible licensees.
Local licensee, Esther Sutton, who chairs Croydon PubWatch commented: “It’s in all our interests to ensure that everyone regards Croydon as a safe and comfortable place to be, no matter what time of day they visit.
“Unfortunately, drink-fuelled crime and drunken behaviour are commonplace across the country and it’s clear that members of the public also have a key role to play in terms of being responsible for and managing their behaviour.
“Croydon’s pubs and clubs fully support the ‘Wise Up!’ campaign. It helped us make our customers aware of the dangers of excessive drinking and
“Our hope is that by combining all these efforts, we can ensure everyone’s experience of the Town Centre is a positive one,” she added.
What a cracking Christmas switch-on! Thousands of people turned out in force to enjoy our spectacular Christmas lights switch-on ceremony on Thursday, November 13th featuring stars from the Fairfield Halls’ pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, led by singer, Gareth Gates. The switch-on countdown attracted a footfall of over 8,000 - nearly 9% more than last year - and provided the glittering climax to an afternoon of free family fun, featuring some of south London’s best musical talent and a dazzling array of street performers. The afternoon got off to an energetic start at midday, when dozens of local employees donned Santa outfits to join in a festive Zumbathon in aid of local charity, Croydon Commitment. The spirited aerobics workout session was swiftly followed by lively performances throughout the afternoon from a host of local talent
including the KB Fusionnaires, Old Palace Choir, Love 2 Dance, Hipsinc Bellydancing, Croydon Popchoir, All Saints Concert Band, Celtic folk band Homebrood and the Salvation Army Band. Khronos, the BRIT School’s fabulous all-male youth dance company, also made a welcome return to the Town Centre, putting in yet another show-stopping performance that dazzled shoppers and spectators alike. The excitement really began to build from 6pm onwards, when Gareth, accompanied by his fellow panto stars Witney White and Quinn Patrick took to the stage to whip up the party atmosphere before being joined by Croydon’s Mayor, Councillor ManjuShahul Hameed to formally switch on the lights. Commenting on the impact of the event, Ian Harvey, marketing executive of the Whitgift Centre said:
“Commercially, many of the Centre’s key anchor tenants reported sales increases of up to 10% on the day, in part due to the activities throughout the Town Centre and in the Whitgift. “The Crystal Palace FC Roadshow, a recent collaboration between the Club and the Whitgift, saw over 300 fans get to meet first team players and staff to obtain photos and autographs of their heroes. Meanwhile, our magical ice castle grotto, which was also launched as part of the day’s festivities resulted in over 30% more visitors than the previous year.” Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon BID said: “This year’s Christmas lights switch-on was a real cracker of an event.
well. The turnout was great and the atmosphere amongst the crowds was truly fantastic, particularly ahead of our sparkling finale when we had the added benefit this year of the fantastic rooftop pyrotechnics display, courtesy of Centrale Shopping Centre.” “As always with these events, our aim is to attract more visitors into the town and ensure that they have a great time while they’re here as well as providing businesses with the opportunity to increase trade. All the indications are that we’ve achieved that on every count with around 72% of people surveyed at the event rating it as either good or very good and 44% telling us it had improved their view of Croydon.” Visit www.croydonbid.com to see more photographs from the event.
“Everything came together really
Croydon’s got the X factor Croydon proved it definitely has the X Factor in December when the town received a visit from local X Factor finalist, Ben Haenow, and his mentor, music mogul, Simon Cowell. The pair were in town to drum up support from fans in advance of the contest’s live final which took place in London the following weekend and in which Ben went on to claim a decisive victory against fellow contestant Fleur East.
5,000 spectators who had gathered in North End, despite the rain, to see him on stage and hear him perform the Beatles’ classic ‘Come Together’ and John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’. The event which was delivered with support from Croydon Council, featured on the final X Factor show and was widely reported in the national, regional and local press and broadcast media, helping to put Croydon firmly and positively in the spotlight for its local talent.
Working in conjunction with Thames Television and with only six days’ notice, Croydon BID was pleased to step in to arrange the highpoint of Ben’s ‘homecoming’ tour on December 9th, when the singer and former van driver from Shirley was joined by friends and family on his X Factor battle bus tour of Croydon.
As part of his X Factor winner’s prize, Ben now has a recording contract with Simon Cowell’s, Syco Entertainment. His winner’s single, a cover of OneRepublic’s ‘Something I need’ subsequently went on to become the UK’s Christmas number one and was the second fastest selling single of the year behind Band Aid 30s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas.’
Thirty years old Ben received a rapturous welcome from around
For more photos of the event visit www.croydonbid.com.
X Factor winner and local boy Ben Haenow
VIPs for a night The audience enjoyed a preview of the latest fashion and beauty trends, a live fashion show, plus beauty demonstrations and consultations at the same time as having the chance to take advantage of exclusive discounts and promotions available across the store.
Around 60 shoppers were given the VIP treatment in the run-up to Christmas at an exclusive late night shopping event, organised by Croydon BID at the House of Fraser store.
Half of the proceeds from ticket sales to the event were donated to local charity, Lives Not Knives, who provided the catwalk models for the evening. Visitors received free goody bags and a Check Out Croydon discount card, as well as being entered automatically into a prize draw to win a luxury hamper worth £450.
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“The intention was very simple,” said Simon Bowman, deputy store manager and master of ceremonies for the event. “We wanted people to feel special at Christmas as they started to gather those all-important gifts. Working with Croydon BID and Lives Not Knives, we were able to deliver a memorable evening full of inspiring ideas to help people make the most of their Christmas shopping experience while enjoying exclusive offers in store.” Keely Dench, Croydon BID’s business support manager added: “The evening was a great success and fun for all
concerned. It helped to introduce a lot more people to the fantastic benefits that can be derived from our Check Out Croydon loyalty scheme with exclusive offers and discounts available from over 60 businesses across the Town Centre, including some of our best-known shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and service providers. “It’s now our intention to build on this experience and look at other ways of boosting the number of cardholders and businesses associated with the scheme.” Visit www.croydonbid.com to find out more
Licensees raise a toast to success The George pub in George Street has picked up top honours in an annual awards scheme recognising Croydon’s most responsibly-run licensed premises. The J D Wetherspoon pub was named overall winner of the 2014 Croydon Best Bar None Awards at a ceremony hosted by Croydon BID and its Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership (CBCP) in November. Best Bar None is a national scheme that aims to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime and promote responsible drinking by formally acknowledging the efforts of those licensees who put the safety and well-being of their staff and customers first. The scheme which is co-ordinated by Croydon BID and Croydon Council, with support from the Metropolitan Police, was once again sponsored by the BID and the CBCP. Only those premises that pass rigorous inspection by the Council’s licensing team are eligible to be entered into the awards, after demonstrating that they are trading within the letter of the law and have comprehensive procedures
and practices in place to support staff and customers. For the second consecutive year in the scheme’s 12 year history, all 31 venues that applied for Best Bar None status achieved accreditation, underlining the important strides being made by local licensees to achieve standards of excellence. As well as being named Overall Winner, the George picked up the award for Best Pub, while the Oval Tavern in East Croydon won Best Small Venue and Bad Apple in Park Street was awarded Best Late Night Venue. Commenting on the George’s success, Ildiko Dobovari, general manager said: “Winning these two awards is great recognition for the pub and all the staff. I’d like to pay tribute to their hard work and efforts. The Best Bar None scheme is a tough test. I know the standard of competition between venues is really high and we look forward to competing again next year.” This year’s awards were given an added boost through an on-line poll conducted by the Croydon Advertiser newspaper,
which invited members of the public to have their say by casting their votes in four special ‘People’s Choice’ award categories. Almost 10,000 votes were cast by readers, resulting in the award for Best Bar Staff being won by the Reflex Bar and Best Customer Experience being awarded to Bad Apple. The Oval Tavern was named Best Family Friendly Venue and the Crown and Pepper picked up the award for Best Food in Croydon. Croydon Advertiser editor, Glenn Ebrey said: “It was great to see the Best Bar None awards extended to include a public vote this year, as the most valuable feedback comes from those people who use the pubs and clubs on a regular basis. “We were delighted, once again, to be involved with the awards scheme and pleased with the level of interaction and interest it seemed to generate on our website.” Esther Sutton, Chair of Croydon PubWatch and licensee of The Oval said: “Best Bar None is a great scheme for the night time economy and for
Best Bar None Overall Winner: The George
Croydon as a whole with Metropolitan Police figures showing that where the scheme has been implemented, levels of recorded crime in Croydon’s pubs and clubs have been reduced by between 18% - 44% since inception. “The assessment for the scheme encourages us to look in greater detail at how we run our venues, and our responsibilities as licensees. The scheme helps to ensure that Croydon’s pubs and clubs continue to be safe venues in which to meet and socialise. “The ‘People’s Choice’ element of the scheme enhanced this year’s awards, thanks to the support from the Croydon Advertiser. It’s great to see the scheme grow and develop.”
Deep-cleaning efforts winning supporters of 255 man hours was spent powerwashing and removing gum from the streets.
Some of the town’s main thoroughfares are looking a whole lot smarter thanks to the efforts of our contractors, Community Clean, who have been hard at work sprucing up the area to make sure it looked its best for the festive season. From October right through to the end of December, around 13,000 square metres of pavement along George Street and North End were targeted for special attention and the equivalent
An area equivalent in size to almost two football pitches was deep-cleaned during the period, prompting business leaders in the Town Centre to comment positively on the transformation that has been achieved. “The street cleaning outside the front of Marks and Spencer is really making a difference to the standards outside the store,” commented Paul Reeve, store manager of Marks and Spencer. “I noticed the team out there again only yesterday removing gum and the focus on the area is really appreciated,” he added.
David Ordman, general manager of Centrale Shopping Centre, said: “The BID’s cleaning team has been working hard along North End making a real difference, removing chewing gum as well as graffiti and cleaning the walkways. “We really appreciate the hard work and focus on improving the look and feel of the town”. Regular wash-downs, chewing gum and graffiti removal are all part of the work that the team carries out, supplementing the street cleaning service that Croydon Council statutorily provides. Priority zones and neglected private property have also been targeted with
special emphasis on Thomas Turner Path, Robert Street, Church Path, Middle Street, Priddy’s Yard, Poplar Walk and Surrey Street’s yard entrances. “Deep cleaning the streets is just one part of our armoury when it comes to creating a safe and pleasant environment in which people are happy to live, work and do business and it’s crucial also in helping to increase the town’s appeal,” said BID head of operations Georgina Dawkins. “We are committed to ensuring that standards of cleanliness are maintained and are keen to continue working with businesses and our partners to achieve that aim.”
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, in excess of £10 million of extra investment has been made on improving the Town Centre.