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.

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.

Saturday 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


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