A businessman has created a new working space in Croydon having been inspired by the response to last year’s riots.
Saif Bonar has set up Matthews Yard, a cafe and co-working space just off Surrey Street, and is due to open on April 21.
The Addiscombe resident said: “The riots brought a lot of negative publicity to Croydon. I wanted to show that Croydon has a lot going for it and so I was inspired to invest in the borough and create Matthews Yard.”
Built in the former goods bay and storage area of Caters supermarket, Matthews Yard opens onto Croydon’s historic Old Town with views of the Victorian pumping station.
The 300m sq space which has been unused for decades is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment to incorporate a coffee shop, canteen, members lounge and workspace.
Saif who has lived in Croydon since 2008 founded CR0Tech, a drive to position Croydon as a technology hub for the UK, within a few months of the riots.
It was a logical progression for the businessman, who has worked in technology for years and currently runs the UK operation for Freelancer.com, the world's largest outsourcing marketplace - like eBay, but for jobs.
As part of the launch, the business is offering a range of discounts for membership.
Anyone that visits the Matthewsyard.com website and takes out membership before March 31 gets a 50 per cent discount on the usual fee, a potential saving of £500.
To take part in the competition, you have to follow Matthews Yard on Twitter or ‘like’ its Facebook page between now and the end of March.
In doing so, people are entered into a prize draw to win a variety of memberships or day passes.
Saif added: "Matthews Yard has received a lot of support from the local community, other businesses and the council.
"The discounted membership and competition are our way to express pride in Croydon and to say thank you to everyone that has helped us.
"The discounts are only available for a short time and the competition only takes seconds to enter. We wish everyone that takes part good luck."