Times are a changin’ in London, with many towns and cities in its suburbs now challenging the dominance of business and culture hubs in Greater London. The borough of Croydon is fast becoming the place to live and work, with quick 20 minute transport links into the centre of the capital and a young and creative workforce developing a great contemporary atmosphere in the city. Here are our ten reasons why Croydon should be on your career radar in 2016.
The next leading tech hub
By the summer of 2015, Croydon Tech City officially became London’s fastest growing tech ecosystem, with a 38% rise in new tech and media businesses since 2011. More than a thousand digital, creative and technical startups now bustle around the ‘Silicon Valley of South London’, with incubators to provide office space and entrepreneurial accelerators paving the way for the borough’s ongoing tech revolution.
Attractive business rates
In a bid to attract early stage startups, Croydon Council joined forces with the City Hall and the Croydon Regeneration Fund to allow businesses of all types to waive their business rates in exchange for setting up shop in Croydon. In addition, businesses have access to discounted rent rates and data services, alongside an existing tax relief deal made with London mayor Boris Johnson. These reductions have helped to create the recent boom in the number of job vacancies in the area as an influx of businesses move in.
A growing business network
As a wave of businesses enter Croydon to live and work, so too do networking opportunities and community classes to create opportunities for more budding professionals to enter the fold. Croydon Chamber of Commerce has enabled a network - made up of thousands of businesses across London - to flourish and support each other to continue Croydon’s prosperous and diverse future - which you can be a part of too.
A fresh Croydon landmark
Some have now labelled Croydon as the ‘new Shoreditch’ as an innovative Boxpark, modelled on the successful Shoreditch Boxpark, is set to open in 2016. The once derelict Ruskin Square has been chosen to house 97 retail outlets inside renovated shipping containers. The five year scheme will focus on fresh food and drink spaces, resulting in the creation of up to 200 jobs. Following the successful launch of the Shoreditch Boxpark in 2011, its southern counterpart has the potential to create a similar contemporary landmark in the city.
Housebuilding is on the rise
Within a capital known for its bloated property prices, Croydon still retains a diverse range of lettings and for sale homes with office space reductions and plenty of housebuilding on the way. As more families choose to move into Croydon, Boris Johnson has prioritised investment to regenerate the area and its housing stock with affordable and social housing - around 700 private and council homes are in the pipeline by 2019.
After work drinks
Croydon boasts one of London’s best remaining fruit and veg markets: Surrey Street Market, and plenty of unashamedly impressive pubs to whet your whistles after work. We recommend The Treehouse for special occasions, The Dog and Bull for its excellent beer garden, Brgr&Beer for quality burgers and Ruchi, voted the best Indian take-away in London in 2014.
Events throughout the year
Croydon has its finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to having a good time throughout the year. Its 2016 calendar is packed with great events, like the Croydon Craft Beer Festival this March, and its top nightlife haunts like Bad Apple, Bar Txt and The Edge continue to entertain punters after hours.
Its population is young and innovative
With more young people under the age of 15 than any other London borough – 84,000 - a younger population in Croydon is well placed to continue the innovative and entrepreneurial business landscape that has forged forward in recent years. Croydon College and Croydon Council have formed a successful partnership to promote 12-18 month apprenticeship contracts, career advice services for life after school, and an Employability Hub with a Career Coach tool to assist this generation make informed choices about their futures.
Celebrated green spaces
Croydon’s huge number of parks and green spaces promote green living within the capital. Croydon was voted the ‘Greenest large city’ in the UK in 2009 by the Royal Horticultural Society, and Coombe Wood was voted London’s best park in the same year. An A-Z list of outdoor spaces to relax in the borough can be found here.
Croydon regeneration has been prioritised
In a recent statement, Boris Johnson recognised the potential of Croydon and the importance of it regeneration: "With a brand new Westfield shopping centre on the way and one of the capital’s fastest growing tech clusters, Croydon is becoming one of London’s most vibrant town centres as well as a major driver of the London economy." The Croydon Vision 2020 is well under way to promote the area as a retail, culture and business hub in South London, with £3.5 billion invested in development projects across the borough.
Looking for your next role in London? Check out Capital Talent at ExCel London on 18-19 March. Alternatively, click here to view our latest vacancies in Croydon and South London. For all other enquiries, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.