Agenda item

The Levelling Up Fund Bid

To receive a presentation on The Levelling Up Fund Bid, and to provide early feedback as we move towards delivery.



The officer in attendance presented the Levelling up Fund, which was a central government fund. The £18.5 million bid was successful last week after being unsuccessful in the summer. The officer outlined a vision for better connecting key areas in Croydon and encouraged new residents to engage with Croydon. The report contained conceptive plans to regenerate the town centre and improve public realm in Croydon to improve walking, wheeling and cycling. Officers have been working alongside TFL to create detailed plans to deliver change by 2025. The presentation identified six key project areas and the estimated cost of each; this funding comes from government and needs to be delivered by March 2026.


Members highlighted concerns regarding the central Croydon bus service which made transport worse, causing 16,000 passengers to have to change from previously direct routes. There was disappointment at Croydon Councils support for this TFL initiated change, as it made life more difficult for everyone but specifically those with reduced mobility. Where bus users could previously change buses at the same bus stop, changes led to people having to walk down the road or elsewhere to catch buses. Officer noted the question and assured they will work alongside TFL.


Members highlighted that Fairfield halls was not accessible and needed more footfall. This also raised the issue of confidence in the council and the need for clarity of vision to increase pride and investment in Croydon.

Members addressed concerns about the Giraffe’s placed on the streets in Croydon. Although this excited Croydon, they proved a barrier for people with sight loss and caused stumbles or falls. Many people with sight loss don’t use a cane and at night can lead to accidents. Buses and bus routes changed quickly and could derail someone with sight loss and disorient them. It was deemed important to collaborate and build a confident Croydon. The officer recognised the need to communicate good things in Croydon, e.g. regeneration strategy and the need to reach out. The new regeneration strategy from the council included Westfield and the desire was for it to be informed by local people and local businesses.


The officer highlighted ‘the Urban room’ a unit within Whitgift centre which was a council venue to use with partners to enable access to events, exhibition and strategies. This was part of making information accessible. The officer recognised the need to push information out further as members were unaware of the urban room.


It was raised that Lambeth council created an expert panel of pan-impairment members to provide feedback. Members suggested the forum to do the same.


Members also informed the forum that Eastbourne had a wheelchair map that users could use to get around. The chair accepted the feedback and felt wheelchair maps should be used in parks as well, highlighting what type of wheelchair was suitable for different areas.


Concerns were raised by members around West Croydon stations limits of accessibility when trying to get into London. Suggestions were made from the Members to consider road works and re-routes and impacts to all users.


A member suggested working with Foot ways and Strand Aldwych. These would be good partnerships to work with and generate a new buzz around Croydon. Living streets were contracted by Lambeth council and had a service group with street audits and scoring street environments and roads.


RESOLVED: to note the contents of the report.

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