This week saw the publication of an authoritative national report declaring that Croydon had the fastest economic growth in the entire UK. While it’s true that any one report can be taken with a pinch of salt, when seen alongside the recent decisions by Body Shop and Superdrug to move their HQs to Croydon, and the government tax office also transferring 2,500 jobs to the town, it’s clear that something very positive is happening.
As a newly elected Labour council in 2014, we were determined that, along with cleaning up the streets, one of our key priorities was to be working alongside the private and voluntary sectors to drive forward Croydon’s economy to create quality jobs and training opportunities for local people. That this is not only starting to happen, but is picking up pace, is very encouraging – but there’s a long way to go.
With the great work of companies such as Croydon Tech City, Boxpark, Rise Gallery, Body Shop, our traditional retailers, Mott McDonald and many others – and, of course, with Westfield heading our way – there are grounds for believing the growth we are seeing is going to be sustainable.
As a council, we are playing our part by investing directly into a new Fairfield Halls, building affordable homes for local people, building new schools, and much more.
But perhaps the most exciting news of the past week, which did not get quite so much publicity, was the astounding achievements of our young people in their school exams. At both GCSE and A level, Croydon students out-performed the national average. For this, they and their schools should rightly be commended. For Croydon it really is another sign that all our futures can be placed, with confidence, in the hands of Croydon’s next generation to ensure the growth and success now going on all around us lasts long into the future.
Leader, Croydon Council