PHOTOCALL: Tuesday, 14th February 2012, 1pm. Businessmen and women from the Old Town area of Croydon join hands in a show of unity outside the riot-hit House of Reeves furniture store in Croydon. All press and photographers welcome.
RIOT-HIT BUSINESSMEN’S SHOW OF LOVE FOR CROYDON
Traders will come together to declare their love for the historic quarter of Croydon this Valentine’s Day – six months on from their darkest hour.
The Old Town area was particularly badly hit by last August’s public disturbances when images of the iconic 145-year-old House of Reeves Furniture Store being burned to the ground were beamed around the world.
Trevor Reeves, owner of the family business, is among traders who will show a united front for their area by joining hands outside new hoardings put up to show the history of Reeves and the surrounding area.
Mr Reeves said: “This is the oldest part of Croydon and it is an area which needs to be looked after.
“We have a grade two listed building, a grade one listed church and, if you look above eye level, there are some impressive buildings on Church Street which, with a little love and care, can be made all the more attractive.
“The idea behind the hoardings is to create a focus not just for the history of Reeves but for the area as a whole.
“It uses words as well as pictures to show the heritage of the area and is something really different so we are hoping that it creates a lot of interest and brings people down Church Street to take a look.”
Traders around Church Street, Surrey Street, Frith Road and Reeves Corner are getting together to set up an Old Town Business Association, while council plans for regeneration are being drawn up in consultation with residents and traders thanks to funding from The Prince’s Foundation.
Meanwhile, a special St George’s Day community event is being planned for Saturday, 21st April in order to highlight the unique offerings in the Old Town area.
Mr Reeves says it is important that traders come together with a common goal voice to ensure their interests are represented in communications with Croydon Council, the police and other community organisations.
He added: “We can make a difference by making our stores as attractive as possible but, other than that, the most important thing is that the businesses in the area have a voice so that positive action can be taken.
“We are inviting all of the traders to take part in the photocall and we hope that at least one of the traders from each shop will attend in a show of support for the area.”
As well as Old Town, Government funding, made available in the wake of August’s disturbances, is being used to fund further events to boost business in the South End and London Road areas of Croydon as part of the Croydon Recovery Campaign, following the success of the Love Christmas Love Croydon campaign in November and December last year.
The Croydon Recovery Campaign is being delivered on Croydon Council’s behalf by Croydon Business Improvement District (BID), the company which represents, and is funded by, Town Centre businesses.
The Love Croydon campaign was born out of the tremendous sense of community spirit and civic pride following the civil disturbances in August when the town’s key players, big name brands and independent retailers pulled together to get Croydon back on its feet.
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