Although my review of Croydon Tech City was published last week, this is my first Just Croydon article written in 2016, so I would like to take the time to say Happy New Year to all of you wonderful Croydonians.
2016 is set to be an exciting year for Croydon, full of developments and rebuilding set to propel our borough to new heights. Later this year, the Westfield and Hammerson development will begin, bringing some much needed life to Croydon’s retail sector, which I personally cannot wait for.
Fairfield Halls is also set to close for refurbishments this summer, which has led to much debate and discussion. However, there is no doubt that the improvements made will help the events venue to fit in with a modernised and thriving Croydon. And not forgetting the long overdue regeneration of London Road.
Along with the location developments, there are also various Croydon events, communities and organisations that continue to develop this year. Croydon Tech City continues rising to new heights and I’m sure that 2016 will be an even better. Beats & Eats will be bringing more great music to Croydon, coming off the back of taking the event to Sri Lanka. Not forgetting the various festivals held around the borough, the many creative happenings at Matthews Yard and the art exhibitions held at any of Croydon’s galleries.
Yet what will make Croydon truly special this year is all of you. I was very interested by a piece Jonny Rose wrote for the Croydon Citizen, laying out some New Year resolutions for Croydon, because they all seemed to be centred on a sense of community. I sat nodding in agreement with his recommendations and I believe that if we all take them on board, we can make Croydon the best place to be.
If you’re a creative, why not be a part of Croydon’s first ever Chinese New Year Parade by volunteering on the day or maybe offering some of your creative services? Or you can volunteer for any of Croydon’s many charities, who I’m sure will appreciate your efforts.
Maybe you’ll want to start something yourself this year, which will benefit the community or perhaps fill a gap in the market – with Tiger Tiger closing down, you might want to start a nightclub and rejuvenate Croydon’s night scene. I’m going to be starting my youth forum next week, which I intend to develop into a fully fledged youth organisation, but I’m going to need the help and support from my Croydon community to make it a success.
Let’s make 2016 a great year for our borough and generate a ton of positive press, so it won’t be labelled or stereotyped anymore. It’s time to change the misconception of Croydon.