Croydon is set to experience a significant boost to its retail sector as two major developers have agreed a deal to regenerate a series of shopping centres in the area.
Hammerson and Westfield have come together for a £1 billion project which will help to transform Croydon's Whitgift and Centrale shopping centre and will provide a significant boost to the area's commerce. The deal has been confirmed as a 50/50 venture between the two and subject to planning consent being approved work could begin as soon as 2015.
As part of the agreement Westfield has acquired a 50 per cent stake in the £115 million Centrale development, which is currently owned by Hammerson.
The Australian retail giant already has a strong presence within the London retail sector following the construction of Westfield London in 2008, which is situated in Shepherd's Bush. It also holds another sizeable shopping centre in the Stratford area of the English capital, as well as developments in both Derby and Merry Hill. The Stratford City shopping centre is the third biggest of its kind in the UK, only being beaten by the Trafford Centre near to Manchester and the MetroCentre situated close to Newcastle.
Westfield and Hammerson's decision to invest in Croydon has been welcomed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson who said that the move will help to the return the area back to "its former glory". David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, added that the both his own company and Westfield remained "excited and convinced by the opportunity in Croydon".
Mr Johnson went on to say: "Westfield and Hammerson's innovative developments have breathed new life into long neglected corners of cities across the country, creating thousands of jobs and delivering growth that will soon be repeated in south London."
Once completed, Croydon will be home to a significantly improved 200,000 sq m area which will include opportunities for leisure and residential premises as well as the potential for hotels and offices.
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