Powerful, computer-programmed, coloured floodlights can currently been seen on nine of the town's most prominent buildings.

But this number is set to almost double later this year when the final phase of the skyline project is put into place.

Richard Thorne, project manager who is operating the initiative on behalf of the Croydon Skyline Millennium Trust Ltd, talks about the skyline project's humble beginnings as an idea exhibited in the Fairfield Halls.

He said: "The idea came about as a result of an exhibition about Croydon of the future.

It was one of the suggestions to which we had the biggest response.

"In 1996 we were given funding from the Millennium Commission and since then we have gradually

introduced the dramatic lighting on some of the most prominent buildings in the town centre.

"The skyline project improves civic pride in the borough, make the town look more attractive and promotes the feeling of safety and security."

The skyline scheme is not yet complete and, Richard says, the full impact will not be appreciated until the evenings get longer during winter.

Richard added: "We plan to complete the last stage of the Croydon skyline this autumn. We will be unveiling the last structures to make up the 17-building project. Croydon will look fantastic.

"I certainly don't think the skyline will hurt Croydon's bid for city status, in fact I think it will help it.

"When you look at the competition we will be up against, they haven't got anything like this.

It really will make Croydon stand out and I am proud to be associated with such an exciting project."