Croydon is cementing its place as the Silicon Valley of the south London as new figures reveal it has the fastest growing economy in the UK.

The borough is now home to more than 1,000 digital, creative and technology companies, according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young.

Significant regeneration in the town centre has seen Croydon go from “strength to strength”, and it was “no longer a joke” that it could rival Shoreditch in attracting technology companies.

Jonny Rose, founder and director of Croydon Tech City, the boroughs first technology hub, said: “Croydon is definitely on the up, it has had an image change and perceptions about it are changing.

“It is not just a tech thing but culturally and socially as well, it is about the arts renaissance, there is a retail shift – we are getting a Boxpark and ultimately one day a Westfield.

“There is a food scene as well with Surrey Street Market, so there are all these different things that have coalesced to make it now London’s coolest place.

“Before that it was a little bit nebulous but now if you ask those that live in Croydon, particularly central Croydon, there is a buzz now.”

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Aside from the budding technology scene, Croydon is set to benefit from an extensive regeneration of the town centre: the delayed Boxpark food and drink mall is due to open next to East Croydon station later this year, while Westfield and Hammerson’s long-awaited redevelopment of the Whitgift shopping centre is set to be completed by 2020.

Elsewhere in the town centre, Croydon Council has coughed up £500,000 regeneration of Surrey Street Market, which will be open on Sunday for the first time this week.

The council submitted plans for £750m major transformation of the town centre in March, which includes a £30m regeneration of Fairfield Halls, a new Croydon College building, more than 2,000 homes, offices, restaurants and shops spread across land between George Street, Park Lane and Barclay Road.

Last month it was announced a HM Revenue and Customs department employing more than 2,000 civil servants would be first tenant of the £500m Ruskin Square development next to East Croydon station.

Council leader Tony Newman said: “Croydon is changing, and for the better, and these latest results show incredibly clearly that investor confidence in Croydon is based on a real and positive picture of expansion in the local economy.

“Our technology base is tremendously strong, and we’re on the brink of a complete overhaul of our retail offer.

“In partnership with the GLA, our growth zone plans are delivering £350m of public investment in transport, schools, and public realm infrastructure.

“This underpins an enormous £5.25bn package of private development projects that are set to see the creation of 23,500 new jobs and the building of 9,500 new homes.

“I’m proud that Croydon isn’t just London’s growth borough, it’s now also the UK’s.”

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Mr Rose, who has lived in Croydon for 20 years, added: “If you look at the indicators now I think tech is really going to be the leading narrative and story that happens in Croydon.

“Croydon is not just London’s faster growing tech cluster, it is now Britain’s fastest growing tech economy and that is a huge statement, my expectation is that will continue.”

Excellent transport links including close proximity to Gatwick Airport from East Croydon station – now one of the busiest in the country with more than 22 million passengers per year – is also making Croydon an attractive place to start a business, according to UHY Hacker Young.

Colin Jones, a partner at the firm, said: “Croydon’s regeneration is going from strength to strength and it is no longer a joke that it is beginning to rival Shoreditch in attracting technology companies.

“Croydon has reinvented itself over the last ten years and is attracting a wide range of businesses to the area and is quickly becoming a commuter hotspot.”