After five years of pushing for change in Croydon, business leaders say they are proud of what the borough is becoming.

Develop Croydon Forum was formed in 2010 with the idea of marketing the area to potential investors.

It now represents 60 key stakeholders in the borough and has overseen an unprecedented period of change.

Members of the forum say the transformation is a far cry from the way the town was being looked at around the turn of the decade.

The group’s chairman, Richard Plant, said: "The change is perceptible.

"Not only are there cranes up, the public realm is going up and the buildings are coming out of the ground, but perceptions have changed.

"We are definitely going in the right direction."

Vanessa Clark, partner at Sinclair Clark consultant surveyors, added: "The change is tangible now.

"Ruskin Square used to look like a war zone and now the cranes are visible all over the area.

"The office market is incredibly strong - there’s lots of demand.

"Lots of us have believed in Croydon for decades and stuck with it - now we are rightfully proud of what it is becoming."

Croydon Council leader Tony Newman said: "We will have Boxpark and the compulsory purchase order for Whitgift is looking promising.

"There have been 1,800 housing completions of which 1,000 are affordable.

He added: "These are strange times.

"Who would have thought I’ve had ended up in an office with Boris Johnson agreeing on strategy and vision for Croydon.

"But it’s that joined up politics and cross-party agreement which has provided the certainty to rebuild Croydon."