There are hopes nearly £20million of government funding could transform Croydon town centre.

If successful, more than half of the cash will be used to improve the area around Fairfield Halls, which has recently undergone a controversial £70m refurbishment.

Croydon Council has bid for money from the government’s Levelling Up fund. 

Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry said the money would put town centre regeneration “back on track”.

The stalled redevelopment of the town centre, coupled with the impact of the pandemic, has led to a decline in footfall and “resident satisfaction” according to a council report. 

The bid, submitted on July 6, was revealed at a cabinet meeting last week.

At the meeting, Mayor Perry said with the council’s finances in a “dire” state, outside funding was crucial to revitalise the town centre.

The director for sustainable communities, regeneration and economic recovery, Nick Hibbert, said the idea is to join different areas of the town centre together.

The authority will find out whether the bid has been successful in October.

Of the £19.9m bid, £11.8m would go towards creating a new public square outside Fairfield Halls and Croydon College which could be completed by March 2025.

This is something that was supposed to be provided during the revamp of the arts centre.

In 2019, Croydon Council picked architects to design the scheme after it launched a competition and expected work to start in 2021.

In January 2022, a report in the public interest revealed the Fairfield Halls project had gone £37.5m over budget.

The full cost of the project, carried out by council-owned developer Brick by Brick, of nearly £70m was supposed to be funded by development on neighbouring land but the council ended up footing the full bill.

The rest of the money would be used to improve the streets and routes between South End, East Croydon station, West Croydon station, the old town and the Minster.

Mayor Perry said: “I am determined to bring much needed investment to Croydon, starting with our bid for almost £20m of Levelling Up funding, which would firmly put town centre regeneration back on track, making us a destination where people want to live, work and visit.

"With this funding, we plan to make necessary changes to reconnect, refresh, revitalise and regenerate key areas of our town centre – restoring a sense of local pride in Croydon.”

Matthew Sims, chief executive, Croydon BID, said, if successful, the funding could be a “catalyst for greater change and investment” in the town centre.

He added: “The business community has got behind the bid with wide ranging support including that of Marks & Spencer, The Ludoquist Café, Boxpark, Mott MacDonald, London South Bank University, Legacy Youth zone, Crisis and many more, as we work together to strengthen Croydon as a destination where businesses can thrive.”