BID splashes out on town centre street art for a wacky week

‘Wacky’: one of the art-washing installations parked on buildings around the town centre for less than a week in ‘unexpected’ Croydon. Pic: Angie Leibovitz

A multi-coloured octopus on an office roof in South Croydon. Fairfield Halls being daubed by a giant paintbrush. A beanstalk growing up alongside the Town Hall…

These are just some of the inflatable 3D street art that has appeared overnight around the town centre as part of a Croydon BID-organised “Unexpected Croydon” exhibition, which is offering a £100 Boxpark giftcard prize for the best photos of the installations.

From today until August 18, what the business suits at Croydon Business Improvement District call “wacky installations” have been placed on eight buildings around the town centre.

“Working with pioneering design company Designs In Air, we bring you Unexpected Croydon – an inflatable 3D street art gallery, featuring a series of ‘unexpected’ sights on familiar buildings across Croydon,” the BID people say.

“Expect shock, awe and excitement of gigantic proportions.”

The eight locations are Fairfield Halls, Park Lane; AMP House, Dingwall Road; Ruskin Square Car Park, Dingwall Rd; South Bank Poly Campus, Wellesley Rd; Barclays Bank, High Street, North End; Croydon Town Hall, Katharine St; Grosvenor House, 125 High St; and one other, unspecified location on Croydon High Street.

To take part in the free-to-enter competition for a chance to win the £100 Boxpark gift card, share your pics of Unexpected Croydon on Instagram and tag @checkoutcroydon and #UnexpectedCroydon.

The organisers also state: T&Cs apply. The competition ends on August 19 2022. And “A winner will be chosen random.” [sic]

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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8 Responses to BID splashes out on town centre street art for a wacky week

  1. Hazel swain says:

    who is paying for this ?

  2. Says it all about Croydon really. Wasting council money by trying to superficially gloss over problems rather than actually solve them. Sad.

    • If it’s funded by Croydon BID then it’s not council money. Theirs comes from a 1% levy on the 550 premises located within the Croydon BID Area who have a rateable value of £40,000 or more.

      • Thanks for clarification, Considering how large they are and how difficult they would be to install, It still a complete waste of money as it certainly will end up in landfill.

        • It won’t. They’re boxed up and shipped off to some other place to make it look like a kids’ theme park. At a guess, others will book the art work for longer than the one week in Croydon

  3. sarah says:

    Given Croydon’s record bankruptcy , 2 RIPI reports , numerous independent reports into the Council , endless failings ,this is a complete of waste of money whoever has funded it.

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    The best photo was the one I forgot to press the button on last week

    Was taking a breather on the metal bench close to WH Smith and saw what appeared to be a long anaconda being put up. I was going to take a quick picture then I saw two boys in Blue coming out of Centrale. As they came closer I saw the big badges with BID Ranger on and had a serious fit of the giggles. Both together really summed up what Croydon has become.

    I am sure they both (Rangers not Anaconda) will be a credit to the community but sadly uncontrolled hysterical giggling does not a good photo make!

  5. derekthrower says:

    Why not a blow up castle of what the new Westfield centre was supposed to be like that? That will be a great artistic piece to celebrate all the achievements of Croydon BID.

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