Doing Business in Croydon
One of the biggest commercial regions outside of Central London, Croydon is a major town situated to the south of the capital. New developments and an ever improving infrastructure has led to Croydon becoming a major player in London’s wider economic landscape.
Croydon: An overview
Croydon has a surprising amount of history behind its modern façade and it is a town that changed industrially across the years many times over. Once a part of Surrey, Croydon is now firmly in the Greater London region and is situated on one of the main transport routes that links the south of the country to the capital. The town’s population is diverse and culturally integrated and figures drawn from the 2011 census show that there are currently 52,104 people living here, and there is lots to do in Croydon.
Proof that Croydon is a town on the up can be found in the form of construction cranes lining the skyline. Most notable amongst the new projects taking root in Croydon is the £1.4 billion Westfield/Hammerson development. Plans for this project show not only a new shopping area for the town, but also improved housing and leisure facilities too.
Croydon has been undergoing a process of transformation quietly for a few years now, but it looks set to explode as we head towards 2020. London’s Evening Standard has said that the area is undergoing a process of gentrification akin to the capital’s East End, so expect to see more from this part of South London over the coming months and years.
Widely regarded as capital’s third biggest business district behind the City of London and Canary Wharf, Croydon’s economy is, unsurprisingly, buoyant. What was once the centre of the brewery trade, leather tanning and charcoal production, Croydon is now a modern economy with a 24-hour big city feel to it.
As a company who provides IT services in Croydon, in our view, thanks to the impressive transport links and favourable location, this part of South London has become one of the most diverse economies in the country. Retail has been a major player in the town for a number of years, and the aforementioned development by Westfield/Hammerson further cements that, but Croydon is also one of the largest financial centres in the south east, too.
Many insurance and legal companies have made Croydon home and the plentiful high-rise office space makes rental prices extremely competitive, especially when compared to Central London which is only 9.5 miles away. The town won “the most enterprising borough in London” award from Enterprising Britain back in 2007 and has also risen up the business growth league table. Such accolades have attracted not only domestic business, but also international firms too.
Transport in Croydon
Croydon is brilliantly served by a multitude of transport options, making the town extremely well connected to London, the UK and the rest of the world. Rail, road, bus and tram all serve the local area, and Gatwick Airport is only 30 mins away by car.
While Croydon is clearly a vibrant and economically sound town in its own right, many people do commute from here to the capital. The rail network supports this brilliantly, with journey times as low as 13 minutes into London Bridge, making the City of London easily accessible for Croydon’s residents.
London’s booming tech quarter is also within reach, too, as the East London Line now links West Croydon to Shoreditch as well as other major parts of the capital such as Highbury & Islington, Surrey Quays and the up and coming north east district of Dalston.
Business in Croydon
As we have seen, business is booming in Croydon, and things look set to continue in much the same vein as we move ever closer to 2020. Croydon recognises the importance of encouraging fresh new business and has set up a Pathways to Growth scheme that aims to help support independent businesses in their infancy with grants and startup loans.
As part of the capital, Croydon also enjoys the support of the London Assembly and has access to other projects such as Enterprise for London. This scheme aims to develop its members’ business skills, improve access to finance, boost young entrepreneurs’ confidence levels and generally help them along the way to becoming a successful part of Croydon’s growing business community.
Croydon even has its own business awards, the Croydon Business Excellence Awards, which proves just how much business is celebrated in this part of South London. Partnered with Gatwick Airport, the Croydon Business Excellence Awards recognises a wide range of business achievements including Business of the Year, Commitment to the Community and Best Green Business, to name but a few.
Doing business in Croydon is positively encouraged, and with the levels of support being offered by both the local council and the wider business community as a whole, now is the time to consider starting or relocating your business in this bustling part of South London.