Croydon superhub officially dead, London Mayor says
Croydon’s branding as an economic ‘superhub’ is a dead concept, London Mayor Boris Johnson has said.
In an exclusive interview with the Croydon Guardian, Mr Johnson confirmed the borough’s hopes of being labelled a superhub had disappeared, saying the term had been “removed from our vocabulary”.
But he repeated his view that Croydon should become London’s third city, calling it “an area of incredible potential”.
The Mayor was mobbed by several shopkeepers when he visited the dilapidated St George’s Walk shopping parade on March 25, but would not say if he would plough any cash into Minerva’s stalled £500m Park Place development.
He said: “We’re just looking at this particular area to see what we can do, especially about bringing people together.
“But I want to stress I think it will be very, very tough.”
Traders are struggling on in the once thriving St George’s Walk, despite the recession, with landlords Minerva and Chaseville Plc offering reduced rents for new firms in an effort to revive the area.
Florist Anton Ravate said the strip needed to be cleaned up and drunks prevented from using it as a late-night toilet if business was to improve.
He said he had offered to supply flowers to Minerva to brighten up the large planters along the strip, but was saddened no-one had got back to him.
Easy PC owner Garnett Cohen managed to get the Mayor to look around his computer repair store during the visit.
He said: “We’re the only one in south London that repairs consoles, so we’re a real niche market and not interested in the whole corporate thing.
“We had a nice chat, but he didn’t speak specifically about what he was going to do here.”
Ben Edwards, who runs Bene Bakers in the precinct, was critical of the horde of councillors who followed the Mayor around during his brief trip.
He said: “How many of the council people come down here? Not many.
“As soon as it’s a publicity thing everyone’s here.”