Croydon University Centre students play leading role in transforming West Croydon’s shop fronts


By - Thursday 11th September, 2014

A group of University Centre Croydon (UCC) students is playing a key role in a multi-million pound Council run project which aims to change the face of London Road, West Croydon.


London Road shop front improvement work underway in the University Centre.
Photo by University Centre Croydon, used with permission.

Release begins:The Council is investing more than £3.2m in this innovative scheme to improve the street, tidy up shop fronts, build facades, widen and repave footpaths, plant trees, and provide new seating and cycle parking, all with a view to increasing trade for local shops and businesses. They turned to Croydon College’s Higher Education students to bring creative design energy and suggestions for improvement.

The students, who are studying BA (Hons) Design for Visual Communication, have re-designed five new shop fronts on London Road, including Adams Café, Dimple Newsagents and EV entertainment.

They spent five months working with the retailers and developing proposals, supported by Geraldine Holland from Jan Kattein Architects. All improvement work is due to be finished by the summer of 2015.

The recent inspection of Higher Education at Croydon College praised the innovative work taking place which develops employability skills through real life projects with employers. Jason Pemberton-Billing, Dean of University Centre Croydon said that this was one of many exciting projects that the students are engaged in to put their skills into practice.

Vicki Parrott, their lecturer, commented: “They’ve all done really well to produce such professional work. It’s really important to give the students experience of working within a real-life environment.”

Student Zoe Tarrant commented: “Overall, the project was fantastic, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I can’t wait to see the finished thing! I don’t think you would get such fantastic opportunities on a course anywhere else.”

Scott Hardy-Bachan, who worked on the Adam’s Café design, said: “I enjoyed working on this project a great deal; it was very interesting to design something that would possibly be used in Croydon itself. It also allowed me to work closely with my tutor and class in a more professional way.”

Councillor Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We’re really seeing significant changes to the face of Croydon. Our high streets are hugely important to the prosperity of the borough and they say a huge amount about us. If we create inviting public spaces where people feel safe to shop and spend their leisure time we will change Croydon’s image and bring in even more much-needed investment.”

Frances Wadsworth, Principal and CEO of Croydon College, of which the University Centre is a part said, “The College’s University Centre, and our partnership with Russell Group Sussex University who award our degrees, is a wonderful asset for Croydon’s community. It is rewarding that this project work with the Council has provided opportunity for students’ skills development whilst also improving our retailing environment.”

Release ends

Release provider: Croydon College

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