The word “Croydon” might not be included in the name of the new Westfield shopping centre, according to recent reports.
The joint venture shopping centre of former rivals Westfield and Hammerson’s have not been willing to confirm whether the new development will include the borough’s name.
A spokesperson for Westfield/Hammerson denied that a name had been chosen for the centre, not giving any more information regarding the inclusion of the word Croydon.
It has been suggested that the name of the new shopping center will be Westfield South London, in a similar manner to Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush.
Other suggestions have included the name Westfield Whitgift, as a way of retaining a link with the local heritage.
Croydon Advertiser reported that when asked about the name, the majority of its readers would prefer the name Westfield Croydon, with suggestions that it would help change the negative perception of the area.
Jeremy Frost, chairman of the Croydon branch of the Federation of small businesses, said that he doubted that the name Croydon would be included, but that he thought that the name should be part of the new development.
He said that: “They might think it would be detrimental on a national level to have the word Croydon in it.
“I think they quite feasibly could call it Westfield South London and I think that would be a massive shame because a lot of people are getting very, very miffed about everyone outside of the town doing it down.
“If Westfield is going to come here, then they should be proud to be here.”
Annabel Fogden, General Manager of the Croydon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, did not think that the shopping centre should have to include the town name.
She said: “I think the name of the development doesn’t have to carry the name Croydon with it as long as it is something that will be associated with Croydon when people hear about it.
“Westfield Whitgift would be quite nice because that would remind everyone of the history of the area and keep the Croydon link.”
The redevelopment of Croydon town centre is programmed to commence in 2015.
Without giving any information regarding the naming of the new shopping centre, The Croydon Partnership says on its website that “over the next few years, the Croydon Partnership will transform Croydon’s two main shopping centres Whitgift and Centrale into a retail and leisure destination which will reposition Croydon as the best place to shop, work and live in South London.”