A popular cafe and co-working space is celebrating its first year in business today.

Matthews Yard, just off Surrey Street, officially opened on April 21, 2012, and has enjoyed a successful first year in business.

The venue started as a cafe and co-working space but has since grown into a hub for a variety of projects including Croydon Tech City and Croydon Radio.

It also became one of the first crowd funded theatres in the country after more than £6,000 was raised from public donations to build a arts studio.

As a result enough money has been raised to pay for a stage, a green room for performers, a public address and audio-visual system and a simple lighting rig.

With venues such as the Warehouse Theatre and the David Lean Cinema having their funding cut in recent years, The Studio is seen as an alternative arts venue in the town.

There are already a number of acts booked for The Studio, which is due to open in May, including comedian Alex Horne, who has previously performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Saif Bonar, owner of Matthews Yard, said he has been pleased with how the venue has been received so far.

He said: “Matthews Yard has been really well received by a broad cross section of Croydon's community.

“Our reception and the warmth from customers, members, the media, community groups and local media is the only thing that has kept us going.

“We have tapped into a real community spirit and been made to feel really welcome.”

He added: “Knowing that we have something with the potential to be really special and knowing there is potential for it to work make the late nights worth it.”

“For me the next 12 months are about consolidating our position, continuing to improve what we have and personally to get some more rest and perhaps some more pay.