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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