Croydon Expo

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The Logo for the Croydon Exp07 event

The Croydon Exp07 was a series of events held from 2007, aimed at business and residents in the London Borough of Croydon, UK to demonstrate the £2bn of development projects planned for Croydon in the next 10 years.[1] It is part of the Croydon Vision 2020 regeneration programme. The council-backed scheme is hoping to interest investors to fund part of the regeneration projects around Croydon. It is hoped that the developments included in the expo will help establish Croydon as "London's Third City" [2] (Croydon has applied for city status twice but failed. If it had succeeded, the borough would have become the City of Croydon, like the City of Westminster.)

The projects include all areas of Croydon that are expected to be redeveloped by 2012. These include Purley, where the current swimming pool on the High Street is set to close. This would allow scope for a more comprehensive High Street regeneration scheme that would help to bring new community investment to the district centre. A new "Super Library", which would offer learning and training, is expected to open after the pool closure, as is a new swimming complex in Coulsdon. The facility is being considered by Croydon Council as part of its contribution to the Olympics.

Another leisure facility could be opened in Waddon, and the old New Addington Pool could be redeveloped to coincide with the opening of South Norwood Leisure Centre as part of the new New Addington.

An artist's impression of the Croydon Arena in the Arrowcroft scheme for the Croydon Gateway

The New Addington regeneration will be in the town centre on Central Parade and will include a brand new Tesco, along with a new larger library and leisure facility. Other new facilities to be provided will be a Joint Services Centre, community centre, changing village, exercise gym and dance studio along with treatment room and a multi-purpose room. There will also be a new café and a car park, a health centre, kiosk, maisonettes, and 300 residential units.[3]

The Expo presented other notable developments such as Park Place Shopping Centre. On 6 March 2007 the Secretary of State confirmed the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acquire the remaining land for the development. This was a major milestone for the scheme and allowed Minerva and Lend Lease to gain vacant possession, in readiness for the start of demolition and main construction works. Park Place has been granted detailed planning permission by the London Borough of Croydon. When completed it will provide 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2) of accommodation, comprising mainly retail space and restaurants. A key component of the retail space is the provision of a new full-range department store. John Lewis has previously confirmed a requirement for 240,000 sq ft (22,000 m2) for Croydon and a regional store of this size can only be accommodated on the Park Place site. Other places with interest include Gap, Habitat and Borders.

Designed by architects RTKL, the scheme will provide both the large retail units and the necessary mall environment needed to establish Croydon as a Top 10 retail destination within the UK, and the largest and most efficient centre within South London.[4]

The second main feature of the Expo, the Croydon Gateway, has proved the most expensive. The cabinet member for finance and regeneration, Councillor Tim Pollard, said that:

The expo took place from the 9th to the 12th of May in the Whitgift Centre and Centrale Shopping Centre. It was also displayed in the Croydon Clocktower on the 17th of May.

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