Minutes of the AGM held on 23rd January 2021

The minutes of the AGM held on 23rd January 2021 are available at –http://www.welovese25.org/events/agm-2020-held-on-23rd-january-2021/

This website is currently being worked on so please bear with us for now.


Progress Updates – March 2021

Good Growth Fund and High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HAZ)

  1. In December, GLA and Historic England agreed to a proposal to continue the South Norwood regeneration programmes. This was approved internally by Croydon Council at the end of January and the new legal agreements for both programmes were completed last week.
  2. We have retained the original funding awarded to South Norwood by each organisation and will be matching this with a reduced match-funding pot from Croydon Council.
    1. Good Growth Fund £1,161,427
    1. High Streets HAZ £1,101,923
    1. Croydon Council £357,264
  3. As part of the revised agreements, the focus area for the physical improvements of the programme, i.e., improvements to buildings and the public realm, has been redefined to align with the smaller HAZ boundary area. ( a revised map will be available here shortly )
  4. The Business support and Community capacity building workstreams will continue as planned across the original focus area, including Portland Road.
  5. There are no changes to the plans for business support or the community capacity building parts of the programme. These will continue to be available across the original focus area.
  6. The Community Hubs programme will now focus on three of the original five hubs in the Good Growth Programme: Socco ChetaStanley Arts and Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation (CYTO). These are the hub projects which can be delivered within the programme deadline.
  7. The council is finalising details with the contractor for the Socco Cheta project and will begin works on site in late spring.
  8. As the Socco Cheta works get underway, we will be sharing the outcome of a study which looks at how the hubs will work together and develop to support We Love SE25’s vision for a community hub network across South Norwood. 
  9. We are looking forward to participating in workshops with South Norwood Business Network, the Clocktower Market, South Norwood Net, All Heads Recognized and CYTO as the first stage in our capacity building programme. We will be looking at how our network will need to grow to deliver our vision for a connected, sustainable community infrastructure.
  10. Two dedicated staff for the South Norwood Regeneration Programme will be joining the team soon to support the delivery of the programme. Rhubi Worth, our new High Streets HAZ officer, will be joining us on 29th  March, 2021 and we are currently recruiting for a Business Engagement Officer (closing date 29th March with details on the Council’s website), who will support the Workspaces and Shops programme and develop support for local high street businesses with South Norwood Business Network, one of We Love SE25’s town team members. 
  11. The Regeneration Team will continue to look for additional funding opportunities to supplement the budget and will be supporting our community partners to identify and secure match-funding for their individual projects. 

Review of WLSE25 Working Groups and Projects

  1. Over the past year, with much of the programme activity paused, most of our Working Groups have not been active. As the programme restarts, we will be looking once again at the focus of the Groups. These were originally created to mirror the Good Growth programme workstreams: Workspaces & Shops; Community Hubs; Placemaking; Business Support and Community Capacity. The High Streets HAZ programme brings a stronger focus on heritage and extensive community engagement and cultural programmes which will interact with projects across the original workstreams. The refreshed Working Groups will become more project focussed and flexible, so that we can harness the experience and expertise of our members in the best way for each project. 
  2. A consortium of local creative organisations came together in the autumn to develop a bid for the High Street HAZ cultural programme. The outcome of the bid which will be announced later this year and while we wait for this, a new interactive High Street Heritage Walk is being created which will be live streamed by Stanley Arts to kick-start South Norwood’s cultural activities. This event will coincide with the Clocktower Market in May 2021, subject to the continued schedule for lockdown easing. 
  3. Residents have voiced concerns about the state of the Norwood Junction pedestrian underpass. This has mobilised a team of volunteer residents who have expressed an interest in working with We Love SE25 in creating community art on the walls of the underpass. We Love SE25 has been liaising with the Highways Department for permission and statutory documents necessary to progress the project. An International Artist, who has created stunning murals in South Norwood has agreed to work with this group to create art that reflects iconic parts of the neighbourhood.
  4. It is hoped that maintenance of the Norwood Junction underpass will be carried out in early summer by the Highways department, subject to availability of budgets, after which we will begin the artwork on the walls. A call out for volunteers will be circulated once maintenance work has been completed and signed off by the Council.


Updated request from Croydon Public Health: We are asking everyone living in South Norwood and Thornton Heath over the age of 16 to take a Covid-19 test as soon as possible, even if they are not showing symptoms. This includes people who have been vaccinated for Covid-19.

Please help us by sharing the following information with your networks, and if you live in the area, by taking action yourself:

Testing details

Our teams have begun door-to-door delivery of test kits, and from tomorrow (Tuesday), more testing options will launch which are set out below.

If you live in the area and do not have symptoms:

Mobile testing Units (opening Tuesday 9 March)

·   Location 1: Granville Gardens car park, London, SW16 3LL, open 9am-3pm, seven days a week

·    Location 2: Samuel Coleridge Taylor Centre, 194 Selhurst Road, SE25 6XX, open 9am-3pm, seven days a week

Please note: appointments must be booked in advance through the council website – you cannot use the national booking system for these tests. Visit the booking site.

Home testing kits

·    From Tuesday 9 March, home testing kits can be picked up and dropped off at South Norwood Library, Lawrence Road, SE25 5AA or Thornton Heath Library, 190 Brigstock Road, CR7 7JB, from 10am-4pm, Monday–Saturday. 

Please note: residents need to wear a face covering and bring a smart phone (if they have one) to register the test and proof of address.

Door-to-door testing

·    We are also going door-to-door delivering home test kits to some homes in South Norwood and Thornton Heath. Our teams won’t reach everyone, so we’re asking people that are able to, to collect a home test kit or visit the Mobile Testing Unit’s listed above.

Please note: our home testing kit delivery teams will:

  • be fully equipped with PPE and Croydon Council high visibility vests
  • maintain a safe distance
  • assist as much as possible in administering and registering tests
  • have ID stating they are working on behalf of Croydon Council

They will not:

  • ask you for any personal details
  • request payment for any services
  • require access to residents’ properties

Other important advice

·     People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to follow shielding guidance and not leave their home to get a test.

·     Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should continue to book a test in the usual way at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or via the NHS COVID-19 app.

·     Residents who test positive by any method, or have any symptoms, should self-isolate immediately.

·      Individuals who have had a positive Covid-19 test in the last two weeks, do not need to get tested now 

Staying safe

If you live in South Norwood or Thornton Heath you do not need to do anything else – everyone should continue to follow the national lockdown restrictions and the NHS guidance on social distancing. You can still leave home for essential reasons – for example to work, if you cannot work from home, to attend medical appointments and to get food and other supplies.  

Schools, colleges and nurseries

Schools, colleges and nurseries remain open. There are no instructions for education settings to close in areas where new variants have been identified. 

How will test results be used?

Positive tests will be sequenced to identify any further spread of the variant, enabling a better understanding of this particular strand of the virus and identifying if there are any more cases in the area. The more cases of the variant we find, the better chance we have at suppressing it. Please help to keep our communities safe by sharing this important message and getting tested if you live in the affected area.

How long will additional testing be available?

Additional testing will be carried out for two weeks and we are asking people to have one test during this time.

Thank you



23rd January 2021; 11:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m

Dear friends,

The Annual General Meeting of WLSE25 will now be held on the January 23rd, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. Our Zoom subscription allows for a maximum of 100 attendees. Please ensure that you join on time, as once we reach our full capacity we will not be able to allow members into the meeting.


Topic: WeLoveSE25 AGM

Time/Date: Jan 23, 2021 11:00 AM London

Joining Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8404904716…

Meeting ID: 840 4903 4716 Passcode: 487796

To access by phone, call:

+44 203 481 5240, UK+44 203 901 7895, UK+44 208 080 6591, UK+44 208 080 6592, UK+44 330 088 5830, UK+44 131 460 1196, UK+44 203 481 5237.


Christmas Lights on Portland Road

Dear Friends,

People for Portland Road and We Love SE25 have worked together to have the installation of Christmas lights in South Norwood for 2020.

We could not use the wrap-around type from last year, due to the costs imposed by Skanska (the Council’s lighting contractor). A decision was therefore made to purchase additional motif type lights to replace these. The motif type Christmas lamps attract no costs from Skanska and will be ours to keep for future years.

We are lucky to have received money from our Ward Councillors that will enable us to purchase an additional 36 motif lights to add to the 24 that we purchased two years ago. However we realised that we needed six more so that the lights could be brought down as far as Dundee Road.We approached local businesses situated at the southern end of Portland Road, asking them for financial help. We’re delighted to say that we received a positive response which allowed us to purchase the additional lights.

Big thanks to (in no particular order)

  • Nix Hair & Beauty, London SE25 – “A friendly and professional service in a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere”
  • Treasures Gift Shop – Our favourite shop for gifts and cards
  • Tyretrax – “The Number One Tyre Company in the South East, Kent, Surrey and London area”
  • The Portland Arms – “We are proud to be a great community pub with a large beer garden”
  • South Norwood Glazing – “Every Pane a Pleasure”
  • London Plumbing and Heating Merchants – “one of South London’s fastest growing Independent Plumbing Heating and Bathrooms Suppliers”
  • Book Love – “The Multicultural Travelling Book Carnival and Shop”

And a big ‘thank you’ to a very special South Norwood resident

24th September 2020 Update

WELOVESE25 has organised 3 meetings to update you on progress in the local area. We have invited representatives from the Council and key volunteers who will be able to provide relevant information.

There is also an opportunity for you to be at the frontline of this committee either in the capacity of an Officer or as volunteers to be elected during the AGM.

Please note the dates for the meetings, listed below:

Thursday 22nd October 6 – 7.30pm – “Taking Pride in South Norwood” to provide a space for the community to put forward their concerns about SE25, get information and agree some joint actions and solutions to some of the issues.

POSTPONED – In light of the recent developments with Croydon Council that was issued a Section 114 notice, this meeting has been postponed. (Saturday 14th November 11am – 1pm – “Public Update meeting” where key members of the Council will be invited to update us on progress with the Good Growth Fund and the Heritage Action Zone.)

POSTPONED until further noticeSaturday 28th November 11am – 1pm – “Annual General Meeting”

We intend to organise these meetings via Zoom to avoid gathering in public spaces and will notify you once representatives have been confirmed, along with a link to the Zoom meetings.



The Good Growth Fund (GGF): The Mayor of London’s regeneration programme to support growth and community development in London.

The Mayor of London’s Good Growth funding of £1.16m awarded to South Norwood was matched by Croydon Council totalling £2.3m, to progress some of the ideas from the Community Plan, which followed months of engagement with local residents, businesses and community organisations, providing a framework for future regeneration in South Norwood.  

The Good Growth Programme is a three-year high streets regeneration programme which aims to kick-start the revitalisation of the high streets with a combination of physical interventions, business support and capacity building activities for the local community network.

The programme includes:

  • Public realm improvements delivering small scale public realm place-making projects, focusing on gateway points, key connecting routes, way finding, signage, public art and greening to reflect the identity of South Norwood, both for residents and visitors.
  • Bring back to life empty commercial units to create a range of traditional retail businesses and workspace for the concentration of local freelance businesses, creative enterprises and artists in South Norwood.
  • Bring underused spaces in community buildings into use, to provide space for the many community organisations in the area and to generate alternative focal points for the high streets. Improving access to, and the flexibility of, these existing community spaces, including: 
    •  Samuel Coleridge Taylor Centre
    •  The existing South Norwood Library building once the service moves to new premises on Station Road
    •     Stanley Halls
    •     Socco Cheta
    •     Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation (CYTO)
  • Business support and development alongside capacity building for local community networks, both for the local community and local business network, to ensure that growth is inclusive and sustainable

The Programmes

The first year of the Good Growth Programme was building the foundations.

  • Contacting landlords of the vacant units and starting negotiations.
  • Setting out how the Good Growth Hubs programme would work, which is key to the vision of the South Norwood hubs plans outlined in the Community Economic Development Plan (CEDP).  Determining how the spaces will work together as a coherent hub for community activity with the five hubs, and developing outlines for potential improvements and business plans to support the activities they will host.  This includes some capital expenditure to the fabric of the buildings as detailed in the GGF bid.
  • Procuring a design team for the place making (public realm) and shop front improvements.  This needs to incorporate conservation elements following the High Streets Heritage Action Zone status.
  • Liaising with Network Rail regarding an agreement for the Portland Road Bridge lighting project and securing permission to clean the bridge.  This public realm improvement would include repairs to the Mosaic, cleaning the walls and pavement, painting the railings and pillars.  This would involve Traffic Management Order as some of this work would have to be done at night.
  • Business support which includes identifying which type of support or engagement is best for each business:
    • Physical improvements
    • Business planning
    • Marketing and social media
    • Visual merchandising
    • Recruitment and HR
    • Affordable finance

High Streets Heritage Action Zone

Historic England’s programme to find new ways to champion and revive historic high streets

As part of a £95m pot for 69 high streets across the country, in September 2019, Historic England announced that South Norwood had been selected as one of five new London High Street Heritage Action Zones (HAZ).  In late March 2020 the Council received confirmation of the amount of the award.

As part of its award of £1.1m, the council will work on a detailed plan with Historic England, to restore dilapidated Victorian buildings, improve public open spaces, back community education projects and encourage specialist heritage-related apprenticeships.  The aims of the programme build on and enhance the Good Growth Programme, and emphasises the importance of the area’s heritage to its regeneration. 

The objectives of the High Streets HAZ programme are: 

  • To enhance the understanding of local heritage and put in place robust mechanisms to safeguard it for the future. 
  • To improve the physical appearance of South Norwood, restoring distinctive and unique historic character and establishing a better sense of place. 
  • Support the local economy to become resilient and sustainable, creating employment opportunities and establishing South Norwood’s reputation as a place for independent business. 
  • To establish South Norwood as a place for employment, community and creativity, where there is a sense of ownership and stewardship shared across the diverse community.

There will also be a cultural programme on each of the 69 high streets in conjunction with the main High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme.

This will be led by Historic England and is planned for 2021/22. Details have yet to be shared, however the plan is that Historic England will work with local communities and cultural organisations, and alongside local projects, commission artists and creatives to celebrate what is unique about each place.

The Cultural Programme is a separate pot of funding, from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, supported by Arts Council England, which will have a competitive bidding process.

Further information on Regenerating Historic High Streets through Heritage Action Zones can be found from the following links:



Update on the GGF & HAZ

Progress was being made by engaging with landlords, the community hubs which would include plans and architects for building works to some of the spaces, putting in place the mechanism to secure consultants and contractors, developing working groups from the businesses, community groups, WeLoveSE25 and other stakeholder groups including the Clocktower Market.

The Council who secured the awards and provided matched funding are coordinating the regeneration and liaising with the GLA, Historic England all the other stakeholders and the WeLoveSE25 Town Team for the programmes, agreeing reporting requirements, and involvement at all stages.

The setting up of these foundations to take all the projects forward was being done, and although progress in the planning stages were progressing this may have felt slow, albeit extremely important, and therefore there were not too many visible signs of change within the first six to nine months. 

Unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic and the lockdown have delayed this year’s plans, which has had an impact on progressing the programmes.

However, work has now resumed and we will be issuing a newsletter with further information in the autumn, and plan to hold a virtual meeting to update the community.

We will send out invitations to the meeting to our email distribution list, and show details on social media, but please keep an eye on the WeLoveSE25 website.

The COVID 19 has had a devastating effect on many people in Croydon and we have lost some of our community here in South Norwood.  Our hearts go out to all the friends and family who have lost loved ones this year.

In Croydon, coming out of COVID 19, we will also be facing an extremely challenging time economically, and South Norwood is no exception.  But with the plans and funding we had in place before this pandemic, we are well placed to recover and shape our ‘new normal’ as best we can.

Please come forward if you would like to be more involved, or be included in our email distribution list. Email us on info@welovese25.org  

Thank you for your patience!

Our wonderful Croydon COVID-19 Mutual Aid Group supplying food, groceries, medicines etc to those self isolating or unable to leave their homes.


☀️It is an understatement to say that it has been a tough and disruptive few months for the world because of #COVID-19. However, what we see is our community and people rallying around to help one another in adjusting to this new way of living.

☀️We want to celebrate and shout about these efforts without which there would be hundreds of people in distress, without food and medical care. 

🌹FOOD and PROVISIONS: There are food banks serving hundreds of people weekly, through local organisations such as South Norwood Community Kitchen, St Lukes Church, The Baptist Church and many more kind providers, some of who have been supported on a weekly basis by our local Councillors.

🌺MEDICINES, GROCERIES, TRANSPORT: The wonderful people of Croydon and South Norwood set up the  #CroydonCovid 19 Mutual Aid and the #SouthNorwoodCovid-19 Mutual Aid as a direct response to the physical distancing and lockdown measures implemented in March 2020. There are hundreds of volunteers who come together through these sites to run errands, provide transport to those residents who are vulnerable and isolating. The love, humanity and the genuine care for one another we have seen in the community has filled us with pride and joy. 

🌹Let’s take a moment to recognise the kindness of people in our community and celebrate at the warmth and love that we have seen displayed during the crisis.

Dear friends🙏🏽,

Given the recent #COVID-19 pandemic, we at WeLoveSE25 Town Team have taken a decision to hold back on all meetings until we have a clear sight of a solution to curtail the spread of the virus. 

This is in the safety of the public and for those who are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

In the meantime, there are FB support groups like https://www.facebook.com/groups/515221059407787/ if you do need help and South Norwood Net – Chat Group has ongoing conversations on issues within the area, so do post your queries there as well.

Thank you and be safe.


Whats cooking in SE25 in 2020?

The Clocktower Market will be back this spring…

And we are making progress, behind the scenes… even though it may not be visible to all.

We see several new eateries springing up in SE25, Socca Cheta is progressing well and there are new residents joining our vibrant community. Let’s welcome them!

Our group functions because of the effort of the volunteers, so if you have time to spare and if you want to get to know people in the area, email us and we will put you in touch with the relevant people.

COMING UP IN SPRING 2020… an open information day about the Community Economic Development Plan and the Good Growth Fund.




A project to improve the high streets and public spaces of South Norwood has been successful in receiving more than £1million in funding from the Greater London Authority.  In this we have an amazing opportunity to grow and improve SE25 over the next few years.

Re-imagining the Everyday Spaces in South Norwood was awarded £1.16m from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. The bid, which was submitted by Croydon Council and partners We Love SE25 (South Norwood’s town team made up of local community organisations, businesses, residents’ groups and local councillors).

Croydon match-funded the value of the bid, creating a total combined budget of £2.3m for the three-year project, which aims to deliver high streets where local businesses thrive and job opportunities are created across both the South Norwood and Woodside wards.

The project will see the council and We Love SE25 work with residents, businesses, landlords and community groups to help bring empty premises back into use as retail and workspaces for creative and social enterprises. Community buildings within the high streets will become active places, bringing together residents, helping to create a resilient town centre reflecting the creativity and diversity of its people.

The project will invest in community hubs including the Samuel Coleridge Taylor Centre, Socco Cheta community centre, Stanley Halls and the Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation. It will also contribute to the future use of South Norwood Library once the service moves to its new home on Station Road.

It aims to bring around 25 empty properties on Station Road, High Street, Selhurst Road and Portland Road back into use as workspace and retail space, as well as making improvements to the area’s public realm and supporting the community’s businesses and social enterprises, both old and new.

The Council and Regeneration Manager for South Norwood in conjunction with WeLoveSE25 has begun work with partners and stakeholders to plan and schedule the programme of works for the next three years.

Details of the bid are available through the Councils website and in the press release from the Mayor’s office.

We Love SE25 and the Town Team (see the Who we are page) will continue to update the community via this website, attending the Clocktower Community market and details of upcoming meetings to provide up-to-date information to the community will be sent to all those on our database and advertised here. Come along and hear about the next steps for Community Plan and how to get involved.

The illustrations below explain how the Good Growth Fund will be administered by Croydon Council and information about We Love SE25 – who we are and what we do, our journey to date and our aims for the future.

April 5, 2019

We are thrilled to inform the community that we were successful in winning a bid for funds through the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund. In this we have an amazing opportunity to grow and improve SE25 over the next few years.

We are immensely grateful to everyone in the community who were actively involved in communicating your ideas for the area, through the series of engagement exercises held over summer and for the lead taken by the key players in the Croydon Council’s Regeneration Team, People for Portland Road, CarverHaggard, and the WeLoveSE25 Team.

Details of the bid will be available through the Councils website next week. In the meantime, there is preliminary information available in the press release from the Mayor’s office.

Looking forward to an exciting 2019 !!

We love South Norwood

Talk to people in our area and that’s the overwhelming message.

“Excellent location, great transport links.”
“Great green spaces”
“I like the sense of community and friendly atmosphere.”
“Its diversity is its strength.”

South Norwood is rich in heritage, cultural diversity and community spirit. It is going through changes, like many other areas of London. We want to ensure that our community has a say in those changes and thrives as a result.

We Love SE25 has been working with London Borough of Croydon since 2016 to develop plans for our area. In 2017 we published ‘Taking Control of Our Own Destiny – South Norwood’s Community Economic development Plan’ (CEDP).

Our new Draft Community Plan takes the ideas from the CEDP and shows how, by working together, we could deliver the true potential of our area.

An application to the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund was submitted in October 2018. Read More


Email us info@welovese25.com
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