Businesses in a riot-torn area have handed a plan of action to Croydon Council to allow for improvements over the next three years.
South Croydon Business Association has marked the end of the Croydon Recovery Project by formulating a business plan to ensure that the momentum for change is maintained.
The area benefitted from GLA funding to make improvements to the area, which included the successful South End Food Festival and the official branding of the area as Croydon’s Restaurant Quarter.
Linda Arthur, secretary of South Croydon Business Association and owner of Bar Txt - where the business plan was handed over on Thursday, 19th July - said: “We are approaching the anniversary of the August riots and have all got very bad memories of that day.
“However, since then, we have formed a business association and created a community that has joined together to make a difference in the area.
“We have had tremendous help from Croydon Council, the Mayor of London who has provided us with funding, Croydon BID and White Label Consultants.
“To build on that good work the business association has put in a lot of hard work to formulate a business plan for the next three years which includes helping the community, making the place visually better and holding more events like the food festival to keep the momentum going and make people want to come back time and again.”
Councillor Vidhi Mohan, cabinet member for communities and economic development, received the document on behalf of Croydon Council.
He said: “It is a great privilege to receive this business plan from South Croydon Business Association.
“Last August’s events were terrible but what they did was they actually galvanised the community. They brought the business, the community, the residents together and we have seen some fantastic improvements in South End.
“This demonstrates if that if we all work together we can achieve really great things. The council is fully supporting the business plan and will ensure that it is delivered to the benefit of everyone in this area and in Croydon as a whole.”
Jon Rouse, chief executive of Croydon Council, told the gathered guests that he had driven down South End at 2.15am on the morning after the riots and could still see people walking away with goods.
He said: “As I drove down, I was obviously still in shock, but I knew the character of this area and remember thinking that we will get through this. It is the businesses in the South End that have been at the vanguard of recovery.
“You are doing it at a time when the economy is still down so I would like to thank you for everything that you have done for yourselves and your community in the last 12 months.
“It is great that we’ve got this business plan and I am really confident that, in the next three to five years, South End will go from strength to strength and I hope that, on the back of that, your businesses will thrive and prosper as well.”
Ms Arthur concluded the ceremony by presenting Rose Farrar, who has project managed the Croydon Recovery Project for White Label, with a bouquet thanking her for her contribution over the past year.