A project to improve the high streets and public spaces of South Norwood has been successful in receiving more than £1million in funding from the Greater London Authority.
Re-imagining the Everyday Spaces in South Norwood was awarded £1.16m from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. The bid, which was submitted by Croydon Council and partners We Love SE25 (South Norwood’s town team made up of local community organisations, businesses, residents’ groups and local councillors).
Croydon is also match-funding the value of the bid, creating a total combined budget of £2.3m for the three-year project, which aims to deliver high streets where local businesses thrive and job opportunities are created across both the South Norwood and Woodside wards.
The project will see the council and We Love SE25 work with residents, businesses, landlords and community groups to help bring empty premises back into use as retail and workspaces for creative and social enterprises. Community buildings within the high streets will become active places, bringing together residents, helping to create a resilient town centre reflecting the creativity and diversity of its people.
The project will invest in community hubs including the Samuel Coleridge Taylor Centre, Socco Cheta community centre, Stanley Halls and the Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation. It will also contribute to the future use of South Norwood Library once the service moves to its new home on Station Road.
It will bring around 25 empty properties on Station Road, High Street, Selhurst Road and Portland Road back into use as workspace and retail space, as well as making improvements to the area’s public realm and supporting the community’s businesses and social enterprises, both old and new.
The money will be received by the council in April 2019. The council will now begin work with partners and stakeholders to plan and schedule the programme of works for the next three years.
Councillor Paul Scott, cabinet lead for regeneration and planning, who represents Woodside Ward, the southern half of South Norwood, said: “It’s great that we’ve got funding from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund to support the continued drive to improve South Norwood for the local community. This will go a long way towards delivering South Norwood’s Community Economic Development Plan.
“This is the result of a lot of hard work over recent years by the local community and councillors working through We Love SE25 and supported by dedicated Croydon Council staff. Congratulations to everyone involved in this successful bid.
“However, the hard work has not finished yet – officers and members will be working closely with We Love SE25 to deliver the changes that local residents have identified.
“From April we’ll begin using the funds to deliver positive changes for South Norwood and I can’t wait for it to start. As the Chair of People for Portland Road I am proud of the work and dedication this and many other local groups and individuals are putting into improving their local neighbourhood.”
Councillor Patsy Cummings, Chair of We Love SE25, said: “This is fantastic news for South Norwood and a validation of years of hard work residents, businesses and community organisations have put into developing our Community Plan.
“We have a wealth of creative and entrepreneurial talent in our area. This award will allow us to develop real opportunities to realise our potential in the heart of the community.
“These are ambitious plans and We Love SE25 is proud to be a partner for the delivery of those plans.”
London’s Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “This is a great example of a project which aims to give Londoners of all backgrounds the opportunity to be actively involved in shaping how their city develops. The Mayor and I are committed to supporting ‘good growth’ by building a city where all Londoners have access to the same opportunities and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this project has in the future.”