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.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest business news

Friday, February 5, 2016
Plans: An artist's impression of the Shoreditch Highgate hotel (right), viewed from Boxpark

Regulars of east London’s biggest gay sauna today told of their devastation at news Chariots in Shoreditch is set to close.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Chalk Farm Road looking south towards the Roundhouse in 1967 (All pictures courtesy of Camden Council)

A gallery showing classic images of the last 50 years in Camden has gone on display.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The pay gap between City bosses and workers is 'shocking' (Picture: Getty)

The UK’s shocking pay gap is being highlighted by ‘Fat Cat Tuesday’, the day top FTSE 100 CEOs will have pocketed more than £27,645 (the average UK yearly salary) in just five working days.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Defiant... squatters at the Royal Mint give a hand-fist wave from balcony [photo: Ken Mears]

Squatters who have taken over part of the former Royal Mint complex are “under siege” and claim they are being starved out, after slipping into the complex opposite the Tower of London on Monday night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Jasper Cuppaidge from Camden Town Brewery

Camden Town Brewery has been accused of abandoning its artisan principles after agreeing to an estimated £85 million takeover deal by the world’s largest drinks company.

Friday, December 11, 2015
Asda and Morrisons have both cut petrol prices for Christmas (Nick Ansell/PA Wire)

Asda and Morrisons have both cut the cost of petrol to under £1 a litre, raising the stakes in the Christmas price war.

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

London Bloggers

Saturday, September 26, 2015
Vintage Salt

Vintage Salt, in Liverpool Street, is wonderfully atmospheric, like stepping back into a dining room at a period seaside resort.

Friday, September 25, 2015
Pickled sardines

On a dreary main road where high rise flats line the horizon Rootdown restaurant stands next to a busy roundabout.