Quantcast
Channel: Croydon Advertiser Latest Stories Feed
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 5354

Investors given guided tour to show the best Croydon has to offer

0
0

GUIDED tours might be more synonymous with pensioners' holidays, but potential investors in Croydon are being wooed with just that.

Representatives from a diverse range of businesses, from housing associations to equity firms, all took part in the fifth tour last month, which is designed to win their hearts and minds and convince them that Croydon is the best place for them to do business.

They took in the rooftop view from the council's Bernard Weatherill House, an "exclusive" tram ride and tour of the New South Quarter near Wandle Park, and a talk from Westfield/Hammerson representatives at the Whitgift Almshouses.

The tours are run by Develop Croydon, a forum of businesses which work together to market the town.

"It's been about changing the perception of Croydon to encourage people to come and invest or move in," said Richard Plant, the group's chairman and partner at Stiles Harold Williams.

"Initially in the early days it was about changing the perception to get investors like CarVal or Canmoor to come to Croydon and invest in things.

"Now, it's more about changing the perception to get the occupiers in and convincing people that Croydon is a good place to live."

The group were keen to keep businesses who were already in the town happy "to stop another Nestle", he said.

"One of the ways you do that is by telling them what's happening and giving them the story about the improving environment.

"While all these changes are taking place a lot of our work will be about keeping the people that are already here comfortable with what's going on."

Pointing to how nearly half of the units in the Saffron Square tower were occupied already, Mr Plant was sure Croydon's reputation has "completely changed".

He added: "The perception was bad, most people would move here because of the price point and not because it was where they'd choose to live.

"It really has changed. We went to a conference in Celtic Manor and when people saw we were from Croydon they'd say 'oh everything is happening in Croydon now'.

"It's gone from the perception of being a place with loads of sixties housing to a place where everything's happening and there's loads of investment, and that's brilliant.

"If you get more people, you will find it easier to employ better staff. If you're a local business you'll have more customers. The economy improving in a town like this benefits everybody, in all walks of life and at all different levels."

One group hoping to play a key role in that improvement is the Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson to transform the town's retail centre, which gave an update on the progress.

Speaking on last month's tour, Carolyn Kenney, development director of Hammerson, said they were now looking to start on site in early 2016, with the intention to open in autumn 2019. She said: "We are confident that with the investment we bring, we can reinvigorate the town centre and it will mean other people are prepared to come into Croydon and invest and develop."

Steve Yewman, her counterpart at Westfield, added: "What we're now seeing is things are happening in Croydon. We've been working with Croydon for the last 18 months to bring forward further infrastructure funding.

"Croydon is already a distinctive area in its own right and now really is the time to act."

The latest tour, held on September 23, was also attended by key representatives from Croydon Council, including Tim Naylor, head of spatial planning, and executive director for development and environment Jo Negrini.

Investors given guided tour to show the best Croydon has to offer


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 5354

Latest Images

Trending Articles





Latest Images