Plans for Croydon arts and educational quarter unveiled

Exciting new plans for the Fairfield Halls and College Green have been unveiled this week as the council continues its ambitious vision to transform Croydon into one of London’s leading cultural and educational destinations.

The council has submitted a detailed planning application for the £750 million regeneration project, which will see a revitalised Fairfield Halls and a new purpose-built college at the heart of a vibrant arts and educational quarter.

The proposals follow last week’s announcement of a new deal between the council and Fairfield (Croydon) Ltd to work together on a programme that will see the venue close on 15 July.

The two-year closure will allow for the £30 million transformation of the ageing Fairfield Halls into a spectacular arts and cultural centre, which will include refurbishment of the entire venue from public spaces, restaurants and bars through to heating and lighting and back stage areas that will mean hugely improved facilities for visiting acts.

Technical improvements will open the way for more contemporary productions to be staged and fresh experiences for audiences. The venue will also gain new bar areas, a roof-top seating and dining space, and the outside of the building will be reconfigured with improved integration into the surrounding public areas, which will be landscaped, with spaces for public art, cafés and shops.

Art-lovers will also find 2,000 square metres of gallery space in a brand new underground venue that will offer opportunities for large-scale contemporary exhibitions to be displayed.

Croydon College will move to a brand new purpose-built educational complex ensuring that it can offer students the benefits of a state-of-the-art learning environment. The college will continue to operate from its existing premises until construction is completed.

The wider regeneration, which takes place over three phases, could see more than 2,000 new homes, with a significant number of those being affordable, and major improvements along George Street, with new offices and shops planned and proposals to make pedestrian-friendly, step-free through routes from East Croydon into town and across the borough.

Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said:

“These are exciting times for the borough. Our ambitious plans outline our vision to transform Croydon into one of London’s leading cultural and educational destinations and at the same time allow us to create hundreds of new affordable homes.

“As well as creating a new cultural offer, the next few years will see unprecedented growth and regeneration across the whole of borough, transforming Croydon for the better for everyone who lives and works here.”

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said:

“These plans lie at the heart of our cultural ambitions for Croydon. Transforming College Green, building a new state-of-the-art college and creating a contemporary Fairfield will play a huge part in the borough’s revival as a major centre for arts, culture and entertainment, rivalling London’s best.”