Nestle, the biggest private employer in Croydon, have today confirmed it will move to a new headquarters in Crawley.
“This represents an exciting new chapter for Nestle in the UK” said Paul Grimwood, the company chairman and CEO said.
It is not known when the East Croydon train station signs that declare the borough as “the home of Nestle UK” will be changed.
The food giant will leave the borough, its home since 1965, and relocate to BT’s former offices at 1 City Place in nearby Crawley. Nestle have taken the entire building on a long-term lease.
The company’s 1,000-strong Croydon based staff are understood to have received an email informing them to expect an announcement this week.
The company has been seeking to relocate from its St George’s House tower in Park Lane for a number of years, with a number of large-scale projects in Croydon town centre vying for the sought-after 130,000 sq ft office space.
This goes against earlier plans for the business to work with Croydon Council to find a new home in the centre of town before 2014.
In October 2010 it emerged in a Croydon cabinet meeting that Nestle was investigating options to move outside of the borough, taking 1,000 jobs with it.
At the time, Tony Newman, the leader of the opposition Labour group at the Town Hall described the possibility that Nestle might leave the borough as “totally devastating news”.
Newman said: “This is a potentially massive jobs crisis for the town.”
The move would also affect the local economy, including the many shops, restaurants and pubs which depend on the company’s employees custom for their daily trade.