A Government minister learned where Croydon’s Portas Pilot funding has been spent when he visited the town.

Brandon Lewis was taken on a tour of the old town including Reeves Corner and Church Street before stopping off at the market to meet some of the traders.

The high streets minister then learned about the work of the charity Lives Not Knives when he visited its unit in the Centrale shopping centre.

Mr Lewis said: "It's been great to see first-hand how Croydon's Portas Pilot is revitalising the town centre and getting empty shops back into use thanks to our support.

“The appointment of a new market manager, Roy Wayre, has already increased the number of businesses selling from their stalls.

“Having spoken with the Portas Team I am reassured that Croydon has a plan in place to build on these successes.”

In May 2012 Croydon was chosen as one of 12 centres across the UK to become a Portas Pilot, receiving £100,000 funding and advice from retail expert Mary Portas.