Fascinating debate and discussion at 2018 Develop Croydon Conference

Perception and Image
Delegates at the 2018 Develop Croydon Conference heard how the town is now a “national exemplar” for good growth and well on its way to becoming one of the best places in London.

Entitled Generation Croydon, and chaired by the BBC’s Mark Easton, this year’s conference looked at how the borough will cater for the young and old as it continues on its transformative path of ongoing regeneration.

Hundreds of delegates packed into the Croydon Park Hotel, on November 20, to hear from an impressive array of speakers. Throughout the day, experts predicted the ways technology, new occupiers and an influx of thousands of residents will affect the borough over the coming years.

Cllr Tony Newman, Leader, London Borough of Croydon opened the event telling developers and investors they had a significant role to play in the continued regeneration of the borough.

“Investment in Croydon is real now and more is coming in. This is the chance to see the transformation of Croydon from a sleepy outer borough to a modern, sustainable city on the edge of London,” he said.

The positive messages continued during panel sessions on subjects including – culture, retail, housing, infrastructure and commercial workspace.

In the afternoon, a Youth Summit was held with over 40 young people, aged between 15-18, asked to look at what they want for the future of their home town. The group were then invited to join the main conference for the closing speeches from Deputy Mayor of Planning, Regeneration & Skills Jules Pipe and Croydon Council Chief Executive Jo Negrini.

Pipe hailed Croydon as a shining example of good growth, highlighting Croydon’s all-round package and insisting the borough has a huge part to play in the future of London.

Pipe pointed to Croydon’s transformation over the past few years, the exciting developments in the pipeline and the proposed infrastructure improvements planned for the Brighton Mainline and East Croydon Station as huge reasons for optimism.

“Croydon’s growth will also benefit Surrey, Kent and the whole of the South East, its excellent connectivity with the region makes it a real driver for this part of the UK’s economy,” he said.

“In many ways you have a golden thread for placemaking in Croydon. Croydon can be a national exemplar of what can be achieved.”

Negrini closed the Conference by telling the delegates the borough’s aim must now be to build on its successes over the past few years and make Croydon “the best place” in the capital.  

“Where else in London can you talk about culture, housing, infrastructure, workplace and retail? It’s a very special place. London needs Croydon now, it needs it for growth, but we have to ensure it is the right growth for us and not just for London,” she said.

“I really welcome all of you to join us for this next stage. Harnessing all of the energy of our current partners and with new partners coming in we can make this the best place in London.”

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