Welcome to West Croydon
Reinvention is the name of the game in the south London town of Croydon. The Sixties saw a highway lined with office blocks run through the town centre, the arrival of the Whitgift Centre shopping mall and the opening of a major cultural centre, the Fairfield Halls.
Tramlink, opened in 2000, remains the only tram service in the South-East. Now Croydon is shapeshifting again, with a £5.25 billion regeneration bringing thousands of new flats including some of the country’s tallest residential towers — the 43-storey sparkling pink-and-purple Saffron Square tower is now a new local landmark.
As the town awaits its long-promised £1.4 billion Westfield mall, which will eventually transform the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres, the food, drinks and events destination that is Boxpark Croydon has arrived to enliven the town.
One of the most exciting developments Croydon has seen in years, it opened in October last year next door to East Croydon station with its superb fast central London trains.
Housed in 80 refashioned shipping containers and modelled on Boxpark Shoreditch, Boxpark Croydon is home to restaurants, bars and gigs in a pop-up that will eventually be demolished for the huge Ruskin Square regeneration scheme.
Until then, the residents of south London are able to eat their way around the world with food from Mexico, Taiwan, Brazil, Spain and the Caribbean, while they sit just nine miles south of central London.