Meet the council: Opama Khan from Croydon

Mon 29th January 2018, 2:18 pm

Sitematch London met with Opama Khan, inward investment manager from Croydon Council, to discuss the key regeneration projects currently taking place in the borough.

Can you say something about your role and responsibilities at Croydon?

I lead on inward investment and my main objective is to promote Croydon locally, nationally and internationally to investors and businesses as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work, invest, visit and enjoy.  

Croydon is currently going through an unprecedented and fast paced transformation with a £5.25 billion regeneration programme which will boost the economic growth of the borough. It is London’s fastest growing tech hub and was recently named the UK’s fastest growing economic area.  The borough is already home to major employers including The Body Shop, HMRC and EDF Energy, as well as hundreds of international businesses and starts up. International investors are already here, and my role is to attract more visitors, residents, employment and wider investment into the borough.

Culture is at the heart of regeneration in Croydon and as one of London most diverse boroughs with the highest proportion of young people, we are developing an impressive cultural programme that will raise aspirations, increase opportunities, support communities, and put culture and people at the heart of regeneration. We are working hard to improve how Croydon is perceived by London and the world.

What are some of the council's key development opportunities?

We have a number of large scale developments that are creating new offices, retail, homes and jobs in our borough, including:

- College Green and Fairfield Halls. Work is under way to transform Croydon’s Fairfield Halls into a world-class performance venue. Due to open in late 2018, the refurbished space will include a 2,300sq m art gallery, alongside flexible retail and community space. College Green will also deliver 2,000 homes and over 44,000 sq m of commercial, health and education space.

- Ruskin Square is a £500 million development by Stanhope and Schroders in the heart of Croydon’s business district, providing 625 new homes and almost 120,000sq m of Grade A office space – equivalent to workspace for up to 10,000 people.  The development comprises five new major commercial buildings. HM Revenue and Customs is the first anchor tenant of the development, taking 17,000sq m of office space for its regional centre. The second commercial building received planning permission last year and construction is now under way.

- At Taberner House, the site of the former Croydon Council offices will be transformed into more than 500 new homes. The scheme, designed by AHMM, includes a mix of housing for sale and rent, including at least 30% affordable, and about 1,200sq m of retail and commercial space.  The historic Queen’s Gardens beside the site will be hugely enhanced as part of the plans.

- Westfield & Hammerson. The Mayor of London has given the green light for the £1.4 billion Westfield/Hammerson shopping centre development in Croydon town centre to go ahead, which will create 7,000 new jobs and 1,000 new homes.

- One Lansdowne. A mixed-use development by Guildhouse Rosepride, designed by architect CZWG, comprising three towers of 11, 41 and 68 storeys, featuring 794 apartments, 35,000sq m of office and retail space, a gym, swimming pool, a public viewing gallery and a new public plaza.

What are going to be your objectives for attending Sitematch?

We are interested in meeting investors, developers and businesses who can bring new and exciting projects to Croydon.

If you would like to meet Croydon Council at the next Sitematch London event on 8 February 2018, contact Josie Brewer on 020 7978 6840.


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