The arrival of a New Year usually is heralded by a pledge to ring in the changes.
Here in Croydon, however, ‘change’ has become the watchword for each and every one of us who has an interest in the growth and future prosperity of our town centre – an interest which undoubtedly has been heightened by the £5.2 billion of private and public investment earmarked for Croydon’s re-development over the next five years.
Regardless of the scale and pace at which the town centre’s transformation takes place, one thing remains constant: Croydon BID’s determination to continue making a difference to the mutual advantage of all of the businesses operating here, so that our town increasingly is regarded as one of the best places in south London in which to work, live, visit and do business.
In that respect, therefore, it was enormously gratifying to learn in November of the importance and value placed upon Croydon BID when the town centre business community voted overwhelmingly in favour of the BID continuing for a further five years. I was genuinely delighted and proud that you have entrusted me and my team with the opportunity to continue building on Croydon BID’s achievements of the past ten years.
Following on from our success at the ballot, we have been focusing much of our efforts on planning for the future and for the challenges that we will face together over the next five years in order to ensure that Croydon BID can continue to add value to you, your business and the town centre as a whole as Croydon’s regeneration progresses.
Ensuring that everyone is able to have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience in our town centre continues to be our number one priority.
Over the coming months, therefore, we will continue to develop many of the services that have already been established and which exist to support you and your business, including our security intelligence-sharing network, the Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership; the Croydon Street Pastors; business crime prevention training sessions and workshops and re-launch of the Croydon Best Bar None Accreditation Scheme, all of which will play a pivotal role in the future success of our town.
Our relationships with the Croydon Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police will continue to be crucial and we will maintain our investment in extra police officers on the beat and on the transport networks while working hard to counter the often unwarranted, negative perceptions of safety in the town.
As Croydon’s re-development progresses, ensuring that you, your employees, customers and visitors are kept informed of the changes and any potential travel disruptions will increase in importance and through the provision of regular travel bulletins, maps and guides and enhanced services provided by our roving Street Ambassadors, we will endeavour to ensure you have all the information and support you need to help you get around.
Ensuring our streets remain clean and inviting will be crucial as the impact of re-development affects impressions of our town and the work of our specialist cleaning team will therefore increase in importance. To help support this, we also have some exciting plans to review and introduce greater greening sites across the town centre, adding additional colour and vibrancy to the streets, alongside our hanging baskets on the town’s main thoroughfares.
With Croydon’s growing reputation as an up-and-coming place in which to invest and the many changes that have still to come, the time to consider Croydon, the place, is now.
The town’s events, arts and cultural scene here is definitely changing and at Croydon BID, we are already working on a new programme of events and exploring how we can use alternative spaces better in order to combine with other activities to make Croydon even more appealing to visitors.
Our ‘Street LIVE!’ entertainment programme, Christmas Lights switch-on and the recently introduced ‘CROWD’ events are just a few of the ways we’ve started to look at attracting new and different audiences into the town and we’ll continue to review and refine these in order to make them bigger and better.
What is for sure is that bringing businesses together is a crucial and integral part of our plans moving forward – not only to ensure that we are meeting your needs but also to keep you informed on progress and developments and ensure that you not only have a seat at the table but a strong voice to represent you.
In that regard, we will be reviewing our forums to make sure that their content supports your needs and there will be a greater number of networking events and communications to keep you up-dated and expansion of our Check Out Croydon loyalty card scheme, to help your business reach new and wider audiences.
Change walks hand in hand with uncertainty at times. Our aim is to help reduce the uncertainty and offer you the support you need at whatever level and deliver.
We look forward to continue working with you during these exciting times.