Croydon could get Westfield shopping centre
CROYDON could get the third Westfield shopping centre in London, it has emerged.
The Australian developer confirmed this morning (Thursday) that has had agreed an exclusive deal with the Whitgift Foundation to look into redeveloping the Whitgift shopping centre.
It has been reported that Westfield is hoping to acquire a majority part of the leasehold for the North End mall, as well as other land in the town centre.
The company said the new centre could attract 3million people, in an area it said was currently 'under served' by high-quality retail and leisure facilities.
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"There is the potential for a major retail scheme in this strategic market, which has been identified in the past by the John Lewis Partnership as a possible key location," said Michael Gutman, the managing director of Europe and New Markets.
"The GLA and the local authorities have very high aspirations to implement a major retail scheme and the regeneration of the town centre.
"Westfield and the Whitgift Foundation will seek a constructive dialogue with all the key stakeholders over the coming weeks and months to seek to bring this much-anticipated project to fruition."
Ian Harley is chairman of the court of governors at the Whitgift Foundation, which owns the freehold of the shopping centre as well as other properties in the town centre.
"The foundation been working for many years to help bring about much needed improvements to the town centre," he said.
"The foundation welcomes this agreement to work in partnership with Westfield and other key stakeholders to secure a major new investment in the retail centre of Croydon, which is not only intended to achieve much needed improvements to the Whitgift shopping centre but also help bring about the regeneration of the town centre generally."
Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher added: "Westfield's proposed investment is the latest exciting development for Croydon and a further sign of the growing business confidence in our borough.
"It sends a very strong signal that we are on course and on our way."
Westfield already has major shopping centres in Shepherd's Bush in West London and in Stratford, East London, which opened in September.
Update: Westfield shopping centre plan dealt a major blow after one stakeholder said it had not been consulted