By Marcus Leach

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today (Tuesday) announced he is investing £23m to help return Croydon to its former glory as a major commercial centre and contributor to the capital’s economy, following the August riots that devastated the town centre.

He also unveiled detailed plans developed by the borough and its public and private sector partners, in conjunction with City Hall, to improve the town’s public realm and infrastructure to deliver growth and jobs and make it a beacon for tourists and investors

The money is a large chunk of the Mayor’s £70m Regeneration Fund set up to help repair the damage caused to high streets and town centres in the August riots, £20m of which was secured from central Government and the rest from City Hall.

Croydon is also set to benefit from the Mayor’s £50m Outer London Fund designed to grow economic activity and drive employment in parts of London that are benefitting less directly from major infrastructure improvements like Crossrail and the 2012 Games.

Channelling £23 million from the capital’s regeneration pot specifically into Croydon the Mayor aims to harness the momentum of strengthened faith and pride that has galvanised the historic town’s communities since the summer to create an even better place to live and work.

This is in addition to the more than £70 million that Croydon Council and its private and public investing sector partners, including Transport for London, are already putting into town centre public realm improvements which has recently culminated in retail giant Westfield’s decision to develop its third shopping mall in this part of the capital.

The Mayor’s investment will support work across the four following areas:

- £5 million to improve the key entrances to Croydon, making them welcoming with more space for pedestrians and improving the transport interchange around West Croydon station, and the junction of Dingwall Road and Lansdowne Road near the new East Croydon station footbridge.

- £7 million to repair and strengthen Croydon’s high street including its main north-south high street.

- £6 million to make Croydon better connected by removing barriers to walking and improving routes between key destinations with improved pedestrian crossings across the Wellesley Road at Bedford Park Road, Lansdowne Road, George Street, the Fairfield Halls and Edridge Road.

- £5 million to attract business with a three year package of support.

“Croydon is ripe for investment and the devastation of the August riots is a reminder of the urgency of investing serious sums into this potential economic powerhouse. South London is critical for capital’s long-term economic success and prosperity. Its people deserve to live in attractive surroundings and the rest of London needs the jobs, opportunities and economic growth that Croydon has so often created throughout its long history,” the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said.

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