Plans for Croydon’s Centrale Shopping Centre set to cost £40million were unveiled this week. Croydon residents and businesses are invited to attend a two-day public exhibition beginning on Friday 3 December to view the investment plans.
The proposed plans will see an existing three-storey space replaced by a larger number and more diverse range of shops.
Hammerson hope to create a family-orientated environment, including a cinema complex, more restaurants, and a revamp of the food hall. The project will also generate many new jobs for local residents.
With unemployment in east London at an all-time high, and Croydon seeing a 13 per cent rise in applications for job seekers allowance this year alone, the prospect of more jobs is welcomed by many local residents.
Mccorley Clewes, 16, from Croydon, studying at East Surrey College said: “It is good it will create new jobs for local people, because at the moment not many older teens have jobs.”
Clewes said that the new plans to include a cinema complex would not encourage him to go to Centrale because he says many people will just go to the local cinemas close to where they live.
Jackie Hussey, 51, a company director, regularly commutes from Sutton to her shop in Croydon. She states the regeneration scheme would be “fantastic if it offered a better range of shops”, and more job opportunities for local people, but said she would only got to Centrale to shop and would not use the cinema.
She said: “A better range of shops would be fantastic – anything to save me from going to central London or Kingston. I have two children living in Croydon. It is so run down and needs some regeneration to bring in more jobs – hopefully for local people more so.”
Robin Dobson, Hammerson Director for Retail Development said: “There is strong retailer demand for well designed, modern retail space and our scheme offers a unique opportunity to bring new names to the town and create a vibrant restaurant hub.
“Croydon has slipped down the retail rankings in recent years and our investment and delivery of new retail space will reverse that decline. We have a long-term vision for retail in the town and this is the first step in putting Croydon firmly back on the retail map.
“We very much hope that as many people as possible will be able to come and see the emerging plans next week.”
The public exhibition will be held in the North End Mall area of Centrale shopping centre on Friday 2 December, 12.30 – 18.30, and Saturday 3 December from 09.30 – 14.30.