Destination Croydon hears some long-awaited good news

Good news hasn’t been plentiful for any of us recently – think
threatened triple dip, snow warnings followed by flood warnings due to
melting snow (how do we catch a break?) and general
post-Christmas-holiday, better-do-the-detox gloom. But gloom is a trend
Destination Croydon is delighted to be bucking.
 
On January 17 we
heard the news that Hammersons (European real estate company
operating principally in the retail sector which already has major
interests here) and Westfield (the shopping centre developers who
delivered Westfield London and Stratford City ) have stopped arguing
about who should build South London’s new shopping complex. In the brave
new world of coalitions, they have decided to work together for Croydon.
 
Our
Town Centre will be re-developed, access to local train stations
improved and new stores brought in. The plans look exciting
and stylish – characterful local buildings such as the facade of
Allders famous department store will be retained while attractive new
boulevards and walkways connect cafes, offices, residences and shops.

To
be honest, the Westfield-Hammersons’ dispute itself was good news for
Croydon. The battle of the retail behemoths revealed how valuable a
prize our Town Centre is. Now its resolution gives us the best of both –
Hammersons the solid investor, Westfield the hot name in destination
shopping to draw in the crowds.
 
As Croydon’s new conference
bureau, Destination Croydon knows our challenge lies in changing
perception and image. We share with other businesses and investors in
Croydon a wish to spread the good word about our borough  – and some of
us share a deep personal indignation that word ever got so bad. Media
coverage of Croydon is frequently lazy and ill-informed, but rebuttal is
a tiring process – just ask a US presidential candidate. The
‘Westfield’ word works reputational magic – and now we’re going to have
it on our side.
 
Croydon Westfield will be an exciting and
enjoyable retail centre. It will showcase brands with the power to
attract customers from south coast to capital. For Destination Croydon
clients, along with even better shopping opportunities, it will deliver
more stylish restaurants, enjoyable wine bars and opportunities for
relaxation after a hard day’s conferencing.  But it will be more than
this.

Customers buy dreams but they won’t buy fantasies. Westfield
will bring the idea of Croydon in people’s minds closer to the real
Croydon – a lively, dynamic, forward-looking place with plenty going for
it. That’s the power of the brand.
 
It will make our Town Centre
an even better place to do business and for clients to bring
conferences and meetings.   That’s why Destination Croydon is delighted
to welcome the Westfield/Hammersons collaboration.
 
Just don’t call it West Ham.

– Any comments? Email conferencenews@mashmedia.net

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Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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