Video: Croydon picked as Mary Portas pilot in town centres regeneration drive

15:32 26 May 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron and retail expert Mary Portas (centre) walking through a street market in Camden

Prime Minister David Cameron and retail expert Mary Portas (centre) walking through a street market in Camden

Riots-hit Croydon in south London has been chosen as one of the first 12 ‘Portas pilots’ to receive public funding and support from retail guru Mary Portas.

Old Town traders have learned Croydon Council has been successful in securing a £100,000 grant to revitalise the area.

The pilot scheme to improve high streets will form part of a new TV series fronted by Portas.

Croydon’s successful bid – chosen out of 370 applications - involved market traders, shoppers and businesses helping make a short YouTube video that set out their belief in the area and their hopes for the future.

The money will help transform the area’s historic Old town into a thriving market, food and cultural quarter – emphasising its local heritage.

A newly-formed town team, comprising local traders, council officers and Croydon Business Improvement District, will now be able to set up a full-time base in the area.

They will bring in pop-up traders, support improvements to shop fronts, create a member-owned co-operative to provide small loans and establish a new food court in Exchange Square, with seating and a large canopy.

In association with the Princes Trust, the team will be also looking to support a new generation of young entrepreneurs by giving them the help they need to get into business in the historic Surrey Street market for the first time.

Councillor Vidhi Mohan, cabinet member for communities and economic development, said: “This is really fantastic news and a great boost for morale in the Old Town.

“I’m looking forward to seeing new businesses springing up in the market and surrounding streets and it will be amazing to see Exchange Square finally brought to life. This is a hidden gem in the town, and it really is worth a visit for anyone who might not have been down there before.”

Mary Portas said: “I’ve been deeply touched by both the quality and creativity of the bids and the momentum Britain’s first town teams have generated in just a few short weeks.

“It is now clearer to me than ever that Britain wants its town centres revitalised and the energy and accountability for that needs to rest with the people who live and do business there.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Driving growth and creating jobs through the rejuvenation of London’s high streets is at the heart of my mayoralty and the Portas pilot initiative is a fantastic way to help us achieve this.

“Through our regeneration drive we have already started reversing the decay of our high streets that had been allowed set in through long-term underinvestment.

“So I’m looking forward to receiving some innovative ideas which will help lead the way in steering London out of recession and get these vital economic centres booming again.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Common sayings are a pedant’s nightmare. Of course, it’s just as easy to be pedantic about anything a pedant says too.

Read more

The billionaire businessman is joining his team in the Mojave desert.

Read more

Raising money and awareness for charity is one thing. But remember, a moustachioed gentleman should never look daft…

Read more

Promotions

BT Home Smart Cam

When I was first told by my boss that I would be doing a review on the BT Smart Cam 100 I didn’t quite know what to expect. Before even looking at the product I was picturing it as nothing more than a web cam with a fancy name.

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

The billionaire businessman is joining his team in the Mojave desert.

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 17:02
Police attend the scene where a teenager was stabbed to death, outside a convenience store in Pilgrimage Street [Photograph by Alex Diaz/PA Wire

A teenager has been stabbed to death on Pilgrimage Street near Tabard Gardens this afternoon.

Yesterday, 15:27
Police are looking for these two men after a sex worker was attacked with noxious gas in Soho (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police have released images of two men they want to speak to after a sex worker and her friend were ‘sprayed with a noxious gas’ and then robbed at an address in Soho.

Yesterday, 12:54
The man was fatally stabbed at Middlesex University in north London (Picture: Google Streetview)

A murder investigation has been launched after a man was fatally stabbed at Middlesex University campus in the early hours of this morning.

London Bloggers

Thu, 10:07
The Appilepsy team: Phil Efstathiou, Alex Telek , Clarence Ji, Miklos Molnar, Joran van Apeldoorn

In Tech City, things move fast. And sometimes erratically. Like phones in the pockets of people having epileptic seizures.

Friday, October 24, 2014
The 91-year-old gave the cyclist a wallop

After Baroness Sharples bragged about walloping a cyclist, London24’s cycling blogger AViewOfLondon has this to say...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit: