Council offers rent-free use of two South Norwood shops to budding entrepreneurs
Croydon Council is giving people with ‘vision, ambition and creativity’ the chance to win free rent on two shops in South Norwood.
The competition will give the winners up to six months free use of the two 32 and 40 square metre units in Portland Road, near Norwood Junction station.
Judges are looking for “imaginative” ideas for new or expanding enterprises, and as well as the free rent, the council is offering dedicated business support and help with publicity and marketing to get the new ventures off the ground.
Some businesses or community organisations could also qualify for small business rates relief.
More than two applications may win, since short-term projects will be considered, the council says, while the aim is to see the shops used for the next year.
The council says the competition is part of a £1.65m regeneration project that is also seeing money pumped into public spaces, cultural activities, events and business support.
Mark Watson, the council’s cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “We’re looking for people with vision, ambition and creativity who we can help and support to breathe life back into these empty shops.
“Our high streets and district centres are really important, so it’s vital we do everything we can to keep them lively, vibrant and commercially viable.”
Hannah Pemberton, whose business ‘The Kitchen Alchemist’ provides specialist recipe development and food photography, is based in the area and said: “I don’t just live and work in South Norwood, I’m passionate about how the area can improve. I’ve been helping lobby for even better transport connections, and I’m delighted that the council is now investing to boost business opportunities in the area.”