Another 1,000 jobs go as Bank of America quits Croydon

Galaxy House: when it empties, will it leave a Black Hole?

Croydon was dealt another massive blow today as Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced it is to close its data centre on Dingwall Road, moving its operation to offices at Canary Wharf, The City, and to Bromley early in 2013. The Bank of America site near East Croydon station employs around 1,000 staff.

The prospect of yet another emptying office block in central Croydon follows a similar number of jobs exiting the borough later this year when Nestle – the town’s biggest private sector employer – transfers its headquarters to Sussex. And the news comes less than a week after Allders called in the administrators, putting another 800 full- and part-time jobs at risk.

BAML’s decision was reported today by CoStar News, the same website that first confirmed Nestle’s decision to leave Croydon.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch told the website: “The data centre located in Croydon is scheduled to close in Q1 2013. Croydon was originally set up as a data centre facility and as part of a regular review of our technology and support infrastructure, it was decided to consolidate this site in order to reduce the overall number of data centres we use globally.

“The consolidation and closure of the data centre in Croydon will allow us to modernise and simplify our IT infrastructure to better meet the needs of our clients.”

The decision to re-deploy staff from one office to three other buildings spread across London, including Bromley, suggests another major business that may have grown disenchanted with post-riots Croydon’s environment and services.

The loss of so many more workers coming to central Croydon each day will further damage business for local pubs, cafes, sandwich bars and shops. Nor will an empty office block inspire developers and investors to sink money into high-risk projects in the area.

The BAML announcement coincided with work beginning on Renaissance, a 100,000 sq ft office scheme at 9-16 Dingwall Road. Developed by a group called Abstract, which will be offering rents from £22 per sq ft deliberately to undercut other prospective new builds.

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8 Responses to Another 1,000 jobs go as Bank of America quits Croydon

  1. There are too many politicians and Mrs Piles in denial in Croydon.
    My wasteland prediction is becoming a sad reality.
    We must fight back and not just with stupid slogans.

  2. henrygordon2012 says:

    Part (although not all) of the trouble is that Croydon Council fail to appreciate that people want to work in and visit attractive and vibrant places. Croydon is neither of these. The Council must take a lead in addressing this problem and support the arts/cultural scene in Croydon.

  3. croydontours says:

    You’re right Henry, that people want to work in and visit attractive places. This is what Croydon needs.

    But I do question your logic a bit here. Why do you think it’s the council’s job to do that? Most successful regeneration achieved in London was done through private investment; whether this was commercial – through private developments like Canary Wharf – or through general demographic shift: which is how inner London has re-gentrified.

    Most councils find it very difficult to be really successful engines of change like this because they already have too many responsibilities or too many legal encumberments. This isn’t just about Croydon council – of either political complexion over the years. – but about local government in general.

    • Are you trying to be deliberately misleading?

      You’re right Henry, that people want to work in and visit attractive places. This is what Croydon needs.

      But I do question your logic a bit here. Why do you think it’s the council’s job to do that?

      (and a tad patronising?)

      You ignore the litany of neglect and disinvestment by Croydon Council that has run-down the borough recently:

      *The David Lean Cinema closure
      *The Mela and music festival axed
      *Domestic rubbish collections halved; road cleansing poor
      *Libraries undermined and under-resourced
      *Grant withdrawn from Warehouse Theatre, causing its closure

      That is to say nothing of the CEO of Croydon Council's own personal role in the decision to leave taken by Nestle.

      Local councils across the country spend significant money on the maintenance of the public domain. In Croydon in 2012, we have arrived at a situation where the council is pulling up plants and shrubs from its parks to avoid the cost of their upkeep.

      All of which fuels the perception of Croydon being badly run, and build on its reputation for being shoddy and down at heel.

      How is that any of that anything other than Croydon council's responsibility?

      • jamesnaylorcroydon says:

        It’s not patronising or misleading. I stand by what I said.

        On the following points:

        – David Lean – Agreed
        – Mela and music festival – Agreed
        – Rubbish – Agreed
        – Libraries Undermined – Yes, Underresoruced – Maybe
        – Warehouse – more complex. On the ropes since the Arts Council withdrew funding
        – Nestle – utterly spurious. You twist it to sound like the CEO made them go.

        But here’s the REALLY important point. None of these services being in existence stopped the economic decline from the 80s onwards and Croydon’s poor perception. What does that tell you? That the perception problem runs deeper than your poor analysis suggests.

        Both Conservative and Labour administrations have failed to tackle this.

        • Sorry James. It was misleading – to suggest that the discarded elements of Croydon life had nothing to do with our council. And we think it was patronising, too.

          That said, it’s good to see that our brief list of the most recent examples of the erosion of Croydon culture meets with your agreement.

          And yes, from what we have heard from Taberner House and the Nestle Tower, the borough’s CEO did indeed play a pivotal part in persuading – unintentionally – the company’s leading figures to leave the borough.

          In the 30+ year period of local decline that you identify, there was a period of around 15 years of unprecedented economic growth nationally.

          Which does suggest that the Establishment that runs Croydon, from the Town Hall, Taberner House and from offices beside the Alms Houses, through that period have been guilty of various degrees of incompetence, lacking of vision and gross complacency and self-serving.

          Which is sort of why we are here.

  4. derekthrower says:

    I see Boris Johnson is starting to mention Croydon as a separate entity from the rest of London as a good place to invest when doing his routine about how the Olympics are good for London.

    Lets face it business in this area is in a death spiral at the moment. No matter how many Tesco Expresses you open up you cannot cover up the craters of inactivity.

    The economy is declining and the government is facing losing it’s triple AAA lending status. The usual response will be to make the area a development zone and the local authority is lobbying for this already.

    No doubt the big developers of the Whitgift will bide their time till the tax exemptions are on stream. The problem is this response takes decades before direct benefits accrue to the local area. Hard Times for these times and the forseeable future.

  5. Who in their right mind would want to work in Croydon, a place full of chavs, junkies and muggers. What are you going to do in your career.. New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Croydon? No… I don’t think so either.

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