By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter
The mayor of Croydon said he would have “second thoughts” about investing in the town centre if he was a business.
Jason Perry told React News he would not be inspired as an investor walking out of East Croydon Station.
He told the news outlet: “At the moment, if I were an investor walking out of East Croydon station… I’d probably have second thoughts.”
His comments come ahead of a cabinet meeting tonight which will consider the council’s business plan for the next four years.
Mayor Perry has pledged to make the council financially stable by 2026 following its 2020 bankruptcy.
But he hinted at cuts as he warned that this would involve making the council “smaller but more effective”.
Part of this plan involves working with businesses and residents to come up with a plan for the town centre which has been in decline for years.
Blueprints for a £1.5 bn shopping centre in the borough were dropped by retail giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
The report said: “The council will work with businesses and residents to develop a new, sustainable plan to regenerate Croydon town centre that responds to changes in the retail and leisure industry.
“Together we will develop collaborative strategies, seek inward investment and apply for grants to revive our high streets and district hubs, and unleash Croydon’s economic potential.”
The mayor told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the company in charge of the town centre’s future is considering office and education use for some buildings in the high street and ways to “reactivate”parts of the Whitgift Centre.
The Business Plan 2022-2026 is expected to be adopted by the council in December.
Pictured top: North End, the main high street in Croydon (Picture: Tara O’Connor)