The companies behind the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre have unveiled their community plan for Croydon.

Westfield and Hammerson, working together as Croydon Partnership, have committed £545,000 of cash and support to the end of 2015 on training and education projects, sponsorships and a grants and bursaries programme.

They hope their initiatives will mean the town, businesses and community organisations will benefit immediately and over the long term from the redevelopment.

So far this year Croydon Partnership has supported organisations including Lives not Knives and Croydon Voluntary Action.

And it is one of the sponsors of our Croydon Champions awards, which reward Croydon’s unsung heroes for their talent, bravery and kindness.

Westfield’s director of development John Burton said: "Our community plan for Croydon demonstrates our continued commitment to regenerating Croydon, repositioning the area as the best place to shop, work and live in South London.

“We also want to ensure that the redevelopment brings the maximum benefits to the borough, local businesses and the local community alike.

“Alongside the redevelopment proposals, our community outreach programme will play a significant role in rejuvenating Croydon, as well as supporting a range of employment, training and business opportunities, ensuring a sustainable future for the town and community."

Hammerson’s chief investment officer Peter Cole said: "The investment we are making in the town centre goes beyond just a financial contribution and our community plan offers a great opportunity for us to work with the local community and local businesses to ensure that the whole of Croydon benefits from our investment in the town.

“While our comprehensive development itself will play a vital role in transforming the town centre and make it a place that all members of the community can take pride in, we are also committed to ensuring the benefits are felt across the whole town."

The Croydon Partnership can be followed on Twitter at @croydonpartners and you can visit the website