This post was first published by My London on 28/02/2019.
Why Croydon could be the next Shoreditch
A university could help the town transform into a trendy hub for tech wizards.
When we think of Croydon, we might not normally think of swanky Shoreditch in the same breath.
But now apparently we should.
In the 1990s Shoreditch was the home of so many trendy tech start up companies, that they started making television programmes about it – namely the satirical Nathan Barley.
But should we now be thinking about Croydon as the next tech-central?
‘Ready to take on Shoreditch’
When deputy mayor of London for business, Rajesh Agrawal, visited more than 100 representatives from small and medium sized businesses in Croydon, on Wednesday afternoon (February 27), he told them we definitely should.
The Croydon Means Business event at Croydon College marked the end of a year long campaign to support SMEs in the borough.
Mr Agrawal said: “Who would have though 10 years ago Croydon would be where it is today.
“I can see already in tech Croydon is ready to take on Shoreditch.”
He described a ‘great buzz’ after he spent the morning meeting businesses in Croydon.
Plans for a university
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said that Croydon is now becoming a place that national and international businesses are interested in.
“We have had a number of delegations visiting from China – That is a way we are promoting Croydon to international business,” she said.
“We have 14,000 businesses in Croydon and SMEs are a the part of the community that create more jobs that any other organisation, we want to support them to make sure they thrive.”
She said plans for a university in Croydon is one way the council wants to keep young people in the borough, adding that she wants people to be employed in the borough and not need to travel elsewhere for work.
This was echoed by council leader Tony Newman who said he did not want to see Croydon become a dormitory town.
Cllr Newman said: “Croydon is a 21st century sustainable city on the edge of London.
“We are a growth borough – There are cranes appearing on every street corner.
“Croydon is success story but like any borough we are facing the challenges of Brexit uncertainty.
“10 years ago people were talking about Croydon becoming dormitory town.
“We saw Nestle leave the borough but now we are seeing many businesses coming to Croydon.”