The signs at East Croydon Station that declared it to be “the home of Nestle UK” need changing.
Nestle, Croydon’s largest private sector employer, this morning confirmed reports that it is to abandon the borough, moving its UK HQ offices and nearly 1,000 staff out of London to a building in Crawley.
Whether the spiky farewell remarks of Croydon’s council leader, who described the multi-national company as “footloose”, will impress any other Blue Chip firms who just might consider locating their businesses in the borough remains to be seen.
“This move represents an exciting new chapter for Nestlé in the UK,” Paul Grimwood, the company chairman and CEO, said in irritating corporate speak.
And in what can only be seen as a ringing condemnation of Croydon and the local council’s failure to deliver Nestle with adequate new offices, Grimwood said: “Our new head office will provide a modern, efficient and attractive workplace for our people, in an ideal location.”
Nestle’s move is likely to have a devastating effect on local businesses which service the Nestle Tower and its staff. Croydon’s voluntary groups, sports clubs and charities will also be hit, as the company was often a generous contributor to their funds.
Mike Fisher, Croydon’s Brave Leader, sounded a somewhat petulant note, accusing Nestle, which has been based in Croydon since 1965, of being “footloose”.
“We have done everything we possibly could to avoid this outcome,” Fisher claimed, “but ultimately we have to respect the fact that Nestle are a footloose global company and can choose where they locate their business.
“We must now re-double our efforts to accelerate the regeneration of the town centre to ensure it is an increasingly attractive location for potential inward investors.” Yes, Mike, all those “footloose” ones.
“We already have great transport links. Now we must focus on improvements to the public realm and enabling high quality residential and commercial developments to come forward at pace.” Like they have failed to do for the past five or six years…
- Report says Nestle poised to announce it is to quit Croydon (insidecroydon.com)
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