Hammerson plans to make Croydon one of the country’s top retail destinations after securing the rights to redevelop the Whitgift Centre.

Having bought Centrale shopping centre last year, and invested a further £50m in upgrading it, the firm is now planning to combine the two malls to create a world-class shopping destination.

Lawrence Hutchings, Hammerson’s managing director (UK Retail), said: “We are very happy.

“We have been big believers in Croydon for a long time.

“This is not just good news for Croydon but an opportunity to take interest in Whitgift and reinvigorate Croydon’s retail core into a world class shopping, leisure and dining destination.

“We believe we can reposition Croydon town centre to appeal to those higher demographics – they live right on the doorstep.”

Proposals include a “world class cinema, fashion stores and restaurants” as well as public art and squares.

Mr Hutchings said the whole town centre needed to share the vision for it to be successful, adding it was fully supportive of the council’s mid Croydon plan and it had good relations and was in dialogue with Allders.