The Nestle move: Croydon Council’s reaction

Croydon Council‘s press office (which costs nearly £700,000 of public money to run) has still not responded to Inside Croydon‘s very reasonable requests for comments. They must be too busy.

Nonetheless, we are able to bring our loyal reader the council’s official press release in full:

Croydon Council has expressed its deep disappointment following the announcement by Nestlé UK that it is to relocate its headquarters out of the borough.

The news is particularly disappointing after an encouraging period in which the borough experienced some growth in the key sectors of business services and construction, achieved notable inward investments such as Zurich, and has generated significant interest in a major retail re-development in the town centre.

The council has revealed that, in seeking to retain the company, it offered Nestlé an attractive package to relocate within the borough, including offering to buy its existing buildings.

It has also been working proactively with Nestlé and the other relevant land owners on its plans to regenerate the mid-Croydon area in which the company is currently based.

Ultimately, Nestlé has chosen a type of office accommodation that Croydon could not match – a low rise building on a business park campus next to an international airport.

The council’s priority now is to work with the company to ensure that as many Croydon residents’ jobs are protected as possible in the relocation.

It has also stated its strong determination to fulfil its ambitious regeneration plans despite Nestlé’s departure.

It will also revise its plans for the mid-Croydon area to reflect the fact that the Nestlé holdings will become vacant.

Council Leader, Mike Fisher said, “We are obviously very disappointed that Nestlé has decided to leave the borough after more than 40 years.

“We have done everything we possibly could to avoid this outcome, 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. 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.

“We must work hard to attract jobs to the town centre to replace the jobs that we will be losing with Nestle’s departure. Given recent successes I am quietly confident we can achieve this. While we hope that most of these new jobs will be private sector jobs, we will also continue to press the Government to relocate civil servants away from central London to the borough as part of their efficiency drive.

“In the meantime, I would like to thank Nestlé for all they have done for our town over several decades, to recognise the benefits they continue to bring to the wider UK economy and to wish them all the best for the future.”

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2 Responses to The Nestle move: Croydon Council’s reaction

  1. The Dear Brave Leader’s comments show that he does not appreciate that people do not share his party’s penchant for ugly and impersonal towers. These phallic symbols alienate people. They seem to be built on the cheap.

    Croydon is losing its character and becoming uglier by the week. I have already expressed my fears for the survival of the Clock Tower. The Council has systematically emptied the building. They could now decide to move the Central Library to make space for some money making enterprise belonging to some generous expat benefactor. Do people care? I hope they do.

    Where are the successes the Dear Brave Leader is talking about?

    I can only see empty buildings everywhere. Efficiency drive to relocate civil servants? More like fear that people will emigrate because they cannot afford the fares into London. Who will be left standing?

  2. derekthrower says:

    The failure to secure Nestle residence in Croydon is a massive blow to the confidence in the local economy.

    With so much empty business property and development land it appears that huge resources were readily availiable in Central Croydon to meet Nestle demands.

    This business has become synomous with Croydon and is one of the important facets of its identity. The Local Authority appears to prefer speculative developments such as the Menta Tower rather than the guaranteed income generation of a Major Global Business brand.

    The political representatives have to justify their regeneration strategy which to date has not changed the perception of major decline in the central business district. Time is rapidly running out for them.

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