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

It’s not just your wardrobe you need to change up when autumn hits. Your make-up routine needs updating too.

Read more

X Factor boss Simon Cowell cringes with embarrassment after his shirt bursts apart, accidentally flashing his chest.

Read more

We give our verdicts on the outfits that graced the red carpet.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 14:51
People have been out in force tying yellow ribbons to lamp posts to urge people to keep looking for Alice Gross (Picture by Carlene Bender)

The Metropolitan Police Service have said the hunt for missing schoolgirl Alice Gross is the biggest search they have mounted since the 7/7 terror attacks.

Yesterday, 14:28
Staff at the Hackney Empire took this photograph of the flash floods.

Londoners experienced rush hour chaos on Friday night caused by unexpected storms.

Fri, 15:53
The new safety measure hopes to eliminate scenes like this from London's roads, where a cyclist was involved in an accident with a lorry in Camden last November (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

New safety features on lorries using 360-degree intelligent cameras have prevented 15 serious cycle collisions in just six months.

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

London Bloggers

Wed, 14:16
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:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Quizzes

(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more