What we were asked to do
The Develop Croydon initiative started with a one-day conference in 2010; it is now a not-for-profit private/public sector company where various partners collaborate on initiatives from MIPIM to Investor tours.
Formed by White Label mid-recession and shortly before the Croydon Riots with just six members who really believed in Croydon's future. Its aim was to change perceptions and positively promote the town. Five years on, it is a Community Interest Company in its own right, with an independent chair and committee. A partnership between the private sector, the local authority and the GLA, its membership has grown to over 60 and is still facilitated by White Label who remain proud to be able to use their skills to support their home town in this way.
How we did it
Develop Croydon runs a series of annual events as well as a 24/7 news channel, inward investment website and a monthly e-newsletter sent to 14,000 targeted chief executives and specialists in the investment market.
Key achievements include:
- Mobile-responsive website which is viewed on average in excess of 800 times a day.
- Monthly newsletter which now reaches 14,000 targeted chief executives and specialists in the investment market each month
- The annual Develop Croydon Conference. This has run since 2011 and regularly attracts up to 350 delegates as well as major speakers. Past speakers have included London Mayor Boris Johnson, Westfield director of development John Burton OBE and Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate. Chairs have included Mark Easton, BBC Home Affairs correspondent and Jackie Sadek, now policy advisor to Cities Minister Greg Clark.
- Develop Croydon Investor Tours take place up to three times a year, and each time more than 50 potential investors are taken on a VIP half day tour of Croydon– by tram, coach and foot – to see first-hand the scale of development underway and the prime sites for investment; as well as hear from the key stakeholders about Croydon's development. The investor tours have attracted in excess of 200 potential investors, developers and occupiers. Each tour has been over-subscribed with a waiting list, and many of the guests have gone on to invest in Croydon and join the Develop Croydon Forum.
- RESI 2014 and MIPIM 2012-2015. MIPIM UK 2014. Develop Croydon organises and attends these key conferences on behalf of the borough, arranging key speaker slots and reception events where up to 200 key potential investors network and learn about new opportunities in the borough.
And the results speak for themselves
Develop Croydon is credited with kick-starting development in the borough by encouraging key stakeholders to talk freely and work together. Projects such as the East Croydon footbridge are a direct result of this collaboration between public and private sector and the initiative is credited with changing perceptions and introducing key investors to Croydon.
The most recent conference to showcase the borough attracted 300 delegates from the development and inward investment markets, of which 86% said they believed the borough's approach to economic renewal would be successful and 79% said they believed Croydon 'the next big opportunity'. The Investor Tours have so far attracted nearly 150 potential investors, developers and occupiers.
To find out more about Develop Croydon, view the website: www.developcroydon.com