Survey launched to improve shopping in Croydon
A SURVEY to find out how people want the future of shopping in Croydon to develop has been launched this week.
Behind the survey is the newly-formed Croydon Alliance, a partnership comprising Hammerson, Royal London Asset Management and the IBRC Assurance Company.
Between them, Royal London and IBRC own 75 per cent of the leasehold of the Whitgift shopping centre.
Hammerson, which is already involved in a £90m redevelopment scheme for its Centrale shopping centre, in North End, is their preferred partner for a future redevelopment of the Whitgift.
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They are in conflict with the Whitgift Foundation, which owns the freehold of the Whitgift Centre and is working with Westfield on rival redevelopment proposals.
The Alliance is working on what it calls "an ambitious vision" to bring the centres and North End together, with the aim of restoring Croydon to the top tier of UK shopping destinations.
Its partners are already in discussions with the likes of Croydon Council, the Croydon Business Improvement District (BID) and retailers, about its plans. It will be using the Map My Town survey to get a much fuller picture of what residents and shoppers think about the town.
Lawrence Hutchings, Hammerson's managing director of UK retail, said: "We're really excited about the potential to breathe new life into Croydon town centre and are confident that working with our partners in the Croydon Alliance, we can take the town back to its rightful place as one of the UKs top shopping destinations.
"Understanding what local people are looking for from the town centre is an absolutely vital part of the development of our plans, so I would urge everyone interested in the future of Croydon to take part in Map My Town."
The survey seeks people's views on the town centre environment and what changes they think would make it better.
Drew Watkins, senior fund manager for Royal London Asset Management, added the redevelopment of the retail core was vital to the regeneration of the town itself.
He said: "Given the importance of the project, it is crucial members of the community are given the opportunity of expressing their views."
The survey went live online on Thursday. To take part, visit www.croydonmapmytown.com