John Lewis Partnership puts the £1.4bn Westfield Deal back on track
Croydon Conservatives are delighted by news of the commitment by the John Lewis Partnership to be an anchor in the £1.4bn redevelopment of The Whitgift Shopping Centre. The retail giant confirmed on 31st May that they will open a new 165,000 sq ft, four-level John Lewis department store with a Waitrose supermarket on the ground floor in Croydon’s new world-class retail and leisure centre.
This follows the announcement in February that the Conservative Government will be investing £10 million to ensure the project moved forward.
Croydon South MP Chris Philp, who campaigned tirelessly to get Westfield going, comments:
“It’s fantastic news for Croydon that John Lewis and Waitrose have signed as anchor tenants for Westfield. This is a massive boost for the town, and given John Lewis’ reluctance to open any new stores, it’s a huge vote of confidence in Croydon and the scheme.
Let’s deliver this project as quickly as possible, without further delay. This will make Croydon the go-to shopping destination for four million people across south London and millions more in Surrey and beyond.”
Councillor Tim Pollard, leader of the Conservative opposition on Croydon Council, said:
““It is obviously absolutely vital that John Lewis has agreed to be part of the development. Without the anchor store, there’s some doubt that there would be a development at all. And we need Westfield/Hammerson here in Croydon very badly now. Obviously we have had quite a lot of delay in the run up to this, we just need to get cracking on with it now and get it going. We’ve been told for months now that the intention was to work through this over Christmas - but it can’t come a moment too soon I think.”
Work is set to start on this joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, known as The Croydon Partnership, in 2019. It will regenerate Croydon’s town centre with over 300 shops, including a brand new M&S; restaurants, cafés; leisure facilities and a multi-screen cinema complex, while bringing in £1.4 billion of investment, creating up to 7,000 jobs for local people and 1,000 new homes.
This is especially welcome after years of drift and delay – planning permission was first granted in 2014. Better late than never, however. With a little help from the Government’s £10million intervention earlier this year, Westfield is back on track and Croydon can look forward to a more prosperous future.