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
2 3 4 5 6

Latest business news

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Aerial view of proposed Rotherhithe Bridge [image: reForm Architects]

Plans to build a new bridge across the Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe on either side have reached completion in a new feasibility study.

The proposed ‘Rotherhithe Bridge’ would have the longest bascule span in the world, at 600ft (184m), for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Williams Butchers in Balgores Lane, Gidea Park,  has won the London and South East traditional sausage award as part of British Sausage Week

It’s official, the best sausages in London and the South East comes from an east London butchers – using a secret recipe from 1931.

Friday, October 30, 2015
Customers say Barclays systems are down (Picture: PA Images)

Barclays said it is ‘investigating urgently’ after customers were unable to access online banking, take cash out or buy things in stores for hours on Friday afternoon.

Friday, October 16, 2015
A high court decision is set to have a big impact on the future of Uber in London (Picture: PA Images)

The High Court has ruled that smartphone apps like Uber are not taximeters - meaning that the tech company has not broken rules that say only licenced black cabs can use such devices.

Monday, October 5, 2015
The scene at today's protest (Photo: Garry Stephen White)

A protest by black cab drivers has again caused gridlock in London as cabbies take to the streets in their long-running battle with Transport for London over the way private hire vehicles, including Uber, are regulated.

Friday, October 2, 2015
We tested the system by entering fictitious details

It has been revealed that Uber’s petition to TfL contains fake signatures, with social media users signing up as ‘Mickey Mouse’ and other fictional alter egos.


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

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.