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Confidence in Croydon up as poll shows priority shift

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More than 91 per cent of delegates at the Develop Croydon Conference were confident that Croydon can deliver on its promises to become a 21st century Space Age city.

At the start of this year’s Placemaking Croydon event, 83 per cent of those polled were either ‘confident or very confident’ when asked the same question. But this rose by 8 points after day of debating the borough’s future with senior business and political leaders.

Develop Croydon has been tracking the changes in the town’s priorities since the first Develop Croydon Conference seven years ago. But the annual polls of delegates have shown that the priorities of the conference audiences have changed in six years.

In 2011 the main priority was improving people’s perception of Croydon with 46% of those polled saying it was essential – this rose to 53 per cent in 2015. But while it remained a top priority in 2016, the figure dropped to 31 per cent.

Clearly with planning in place for the Croydon Partnership’s (Westfield and Hammerson) new £1.4billion retail centre, the opening of BOXPARK, a £30m regeneration of the Cultural Quarter underway, and new building developments finally appearing on the skyline, 2016 delegates feel other priorities are just as important.

This year, the need to build new town centre homes and offices, and importance of improving the cultural and lifestyle offer, were seen as equally essential, with both polling 19 per cent in the survey. In 2011 only 5 per centof the audience felt the cultural and lifestyle offer was important. Similarly in 2011 only 10% felt it was a priority to build more mixed use town centre homes with commercial and retail in the plans.

FULL RESULTS

2011 – 2015 – 2016

Delivery of significant public realm improvements?

25% – 6% – 9%

Attracting office occupiers?

11% – 6% – 7%

Improving jobs and skills locally?

4% – 10% – 16%

Improving the local cultural and lifestyle offer?

5% – 15% – 19%

Changing perceptions of Croydon?

46% – 53% – 31%

Building more mixed-use town centre homes
10% – 20% – 19%