Croydon Council has outlined how it will use over £2.5m in new government funding to support ongoing work to transform its district centres, restore local pride, and help businesses thrive.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will provide vital new funding over three years to projects focusing on ‘communities and place’ and ‘local business support’.
Croydon’s plan includes an initial focus on high street and public space improvements, making local areas more attractive for residents and businesses. Around £580,000 worth of regeneration projects are set to cover Thornton Heath, Selsdon, New Addington, and Purley, and will be directly shaped by individual communities.
Coinciding with Croydon’s tenure as London Borough of Culture, there will be a cultural emphasis across the borough throughout 2023. This £230,000 programme includes delivering a series of cultural, heritage and community events.
A sizeable £610,000 funding package will support local businesses to thrive, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) around Croydon – building on existing support and close collaboration with partners such as London South Bank University and South London Partnership.
By thoroughly evaluating Croydon’s current economy, support will be tailored to the specific needs of local businesses and help inform monthly clinics on key themes affecting Croydon SMEs.
In 2023, the council plans to establish a Young Entrepreneurs Academy to support Croydon’s next generation of entrepreneurs (ages 18-25). The academy will provide support and mentorship to young people as they start their own businesses and contribute to the local economy.
Moving into next year, the council has also earmarked £294,000 to continue to support Croydon’s emerging creative, tech and digital sector as well as the businesses which make up the borough’s night-time economy.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: “Our UKSPF investment plan is all about complimenting and supporting the existing work of the council and its partners to help residents and businesses thrive – and there’s certainly no shortage of activity going on at the moment in Croydon. This is the right time to be ambitious and harness all that our borough has to offer. This funding will open up big opportunities, ranging from transforming the spaces at the heart of our communities through to invaluable mentorship for the next generation of local entrepreneurs. I am determined to put Croydon back on the map for the right reasons, showing everyone exactly why people should be proud to live and work in our borough.”