Our last meeting held on Tuesday 11 September was extremely eventful so there is lots of information to share in the Minutes below:

MEETING HELD ON 11/9/18, 7-8.30PM AT
1. Welcome, apologies, H&S etc.
Linda welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked new members to introduce themselves.
Chris gave the Health and safety briefing.
Apologies were received from: Rev Nadine Wilkinson, Humayun Kabir, Jamie Audsley, Sara Kashani, Magdalaine Adenaike, Linda Johnson, Karen Jones, Fee Kakes.
2. Croydon's CleanAir Strategy
Our visitor for this topic, Linda Johnson, was unable attend as she was unwell but will come to our next meeting instead.  Linda issued a sheet about an event on this topic being arranged by the Councillors as follows:
Action to tackle air pollution in Croydon

Date and Time

Sat, October 20, 2018
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM


Whitehorse Manor Schools - Brigstock Road site
129-133 Brigstock Rd
Thornton Heath


There's been lots in the news about the damaging impact of air pollution on our communities and especially our children's lives. But what's really going on in Croydon? What are the facts? What are the solutions? What role can polticans and residents play in tackling this public health crisis?
Come and join this fun and friendly event (families and children welcome) to understand all of the above and shape the way forward for tackling air pollution in Croydon.
The event will enable everyone to:
1) Understand the situation and impact of air pollution in our borough
2) Explore possible solutions to tackle air pollution - especially around schools and for young people
3) Contribute to the design of Croydon's Air Quality Strategy and Action Plan
In attendance will be - Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Stuart King; Deputy Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Muhammad Ali, local Cllr Jamie Audsley, a wide range of activists and experts on this issue.
If you think you have a particular view that needs to be shared at the event, please let jamieaudsley@gmail.com know so we can ensure it is built in.
You can enrol online for this free event:
3. Re-Imagining Ambassador House
Andrea introduced this new project explaining that we have been talking about Ambassador House for a long time but cannot wait forever for something to happen.  We need to pressurise the freeholders etc to re-imagine how this area could be.
The idea is to run an architectural competition for students promoted through architectural magazines, universities etc.  A brief will be put together on what people want to see the whole area used for.  We began working on this with the re-imagining exercise carried out at the Thornton Heath Festival on Sunday.  An ecological element will also be included as the area is so urban.
As individuals we have little power but as a community we could make this possible.  This may be as a Community Trust where people can buy a share for as little as £1. (These have worked in Stockwell and Brixton.) We have spoken to Steve Reed who is happy to approach the "high-ups" at network rail, Tesco and Ambassador House to pressure for change.  The Council is also supportive and can put together a brief including estimates of what planners believe the scheme would cost.
The competition will launch in January with judging around Easter.  Entrants will supply 3D models and it is hoped potential developers will be at the table.
Chetna asked how this fitted with the regeneration work to be completed at Ambassador House forecourt.  However, this involves only the planting  of some trees and a tidy up.  If the trees are in planters they can be moved.  We are also seeking suggestions for a new name for the Ambassador House forecourt.  It was for a long time an empty space so there is no obvious historical name.
Alison reported that this is moving forward but by baby steps mainly around the legal issues.  The Council legal team is talking to the Network Rail legal team and there are leaseholder complications.  The Council wants a master plan for the whole area but compulsory purchase is not easy and there must be appropriate grounds to do this.  The Council is also working on a regeneration plan.
Andrea reported some good ideas from the Festival consultation including student housing, entertainment, soft play, cinema, a safe space for young people and green space.  These ideas were added by a complete mix of people.
4. Joint Community Bid to the Good Growth Fund for a Community Hub
Steve Phaure from the CVA led on the topic and distributed this briefing document:

  • It will provide up to 70m funding from the Local Growth Fund in the form of capital grants and repayable capital grants. Provides up to 50 per cent of the total value of a project. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure the corresponding match funding required to deliver their project, either from their own resources or from third-party contributions. Applicants should be aware that most available funding is capital, and we encourage revenue elements of projects to be funded via match.


  • Welcome proposals that bring complementary revenue funding to deliver well-rounded packages, including management, outreach, programming, support and legacy activities. All projects should champion new partnerships, collaborative working, and a high-quality built environment


  • £24 million so far to enable delivery of 27 locally-defined projects that drive and lead innovative regeneration in their local area.


  • In Round Two there is £20m to award to successful projects


  • Particularly keen, in this round, to see local stakeholders convene and coordinate multifaceted proposals with specific strands / actions led by local experts.
  • Particularly keen to work in areas of London that haven’t benefited from previous funding rounds.


  • The third and final call for projects is scheduled to happen in 2019 – with a projected further £20m of funding to award

The Good Growth Fund will respond to three strategic challenges: to empower people, to make better places and to grow prosperity. These challengers are interrelated:
Empowering People

  • Strengthen its civic infrastructure and networks to bring people together to share their cultures
  • Skills and employability
  • Everyone to have a stake in the future design and regeneration of the city

Making Better Places

  • Attractive public realm, bringing empty spaces back to life
  • Better use made of existing spaces, particularly our high streets.

Growing Prosperity

  • Create new opportunities for London’s diverse business

What you can do:
1. Develop civic infrastructure
2. Back small business
3. Secure and create workspace
4. Craft a smarter city
5. Intensify London’s local economies
6. Build skills and employability
7. Deliver community-led regeneration
8. Enhance public space
9. Share culture
Develop Civic Infrastructure
Developing assets that provide services which include, health, education, play, faith, recreation and emergency facilities:

  • Using empty premises and space on and behind the high street for flexible and multi-use community space, crèches, cafes, workspace and retail incubators, learning or making space
  • Re-using or revitalising underused public assets, such as the reuse of libraries and community centres and other council-owned properties
  • Developing new models of shared, communal, or open access civic spaces
  • Physically adapting existing retail premises or places of work to enable businesses to diversify their offer to the local community, for example, shops providing meeting space for hire or workspaces providing facilities for community groups
  • Making the most of the under used ground floors in new residential-led developments through a coordinated approach to their use and management
  • Promoting intergenerational and cross-cultural or neighbourhood skill sharing, exchange and strengthening London as a city for all ages

Deliver Community-Led Regeneration
People coming together to develop common spaces and shared resources: involve local people in a meaningful and collaborative regeneration effort in long-term strategic change:

  • Acquiring, refurbishing, developing and / or managing an asset of community value8
  • Enabling community-led development on or around high streets so it successfully mixes new homes with commercial and community activities
  • Promoting the local ownership and management of community assets in areas of social and economic deprivation, through innovative models of local engagement and participation in their development and future use
  • Bringing the wider community together around common spaces or shared resources that help develop alternative economies or promote collaboration and social integration
  • Employing a co-design process to shape development and infrastructure in areas of growth

Share Culture
Culture acting as a driver of impactful local regeneration with strategic socio-economic outcomes, including health, wellbeing, environment and sustainability:

  • Investing in existing or new cultural infrastructure, building upon an area’s existing heritage, identity, cultural sector, local assets, institutions and the night-time economy
  • Enabling access to music venues, cinemas, galleries and theatres on a local level, and ensuring that these assets are protected
  • Encouraging participation by facilitating cultural activity in everyday settings including community centres, high streets, parks, allotments and libraries
  • Protecting, enhancing and providing affordable studio space and grassroots cultural venues
  • Supporting cultural sector SMEs that contribute to the character and identity of places
  • Creating opportunities within the cultural sector that can boost the local economy, jobs and skills


  • Project description (40 per cent)
  • Project location
  • Project description – summary of what’s required to deliver
  • Project aims – overall purpose of project
  • Project support – What local engagement has been undertaken
  • Project management – who will manage the project
  • Project risks – 3 top risks
  • Deliverability (30 per cent)
  • Funding breakdown
  • Delivery milestones
  • Value for money (30 per cent)
  • Deliverables (outputs)
  • Legacy – ensuring sustainability
  • Evaluation – impact and success

5.         KEY DATES

  • Prospectus launched 4 June 2018
  • Stage 1 application deadline 13 July 2018
  • Stage 1 decision made September 2018
  • Stage 2 application deadline October 2018
  • Successful projects announced December 2018
  • Grant agreement signed January 2019
  • Project delivery starts March 2019

Steve reported that a phase 2 bid is being developed in S. Norwood and they will know if they have been successful in January.  Such projects come to fruition slowly. The CVA building is on the old hospital site but it took 10 years to negotiate this with the NHS.  It is now a resource centre with flats above.
The current bid started on the back of Paul Macey's work.  Steve is able to negotiate with the Council. He has met with Steven Tate (who is now on sabbatical).  The "Community Hub" is shorthand for what is required.  The GGF came to light, inviting bids to big capital projects.  The bid could flow from the "re-imagining" exercise.  The total fund is £70K over 3 years from the Mayor.  Our bid would be from phase 3 which totals £20K.  Any funding granted must be match funded but it may be possible that this could come from Section 106 money.
The prospectus for round 3 will not appear until next year but we need to start work on it now.  The time frame would be similar to this year (see above) and the project would start in 2020.  The maximum value of any project is £2M, half of which must be match funding.  We need a location by about next March and Ambassador House could be an option.  The Library and Crystal Palace Football Club have also been mentioned.  The funding is for capital expenditure (new build or refurbishment) with match funding for revenue butilt must make money to continue.
The CVA run several buildings and funding is raised by fair charges for the use of space which pays for the handyperson and receptionist.  Other groups have match funded through the Lottery, Charitable Trust and Housing Associations.
Alison said that the Council's building company Brick by Brick has funded community facilities and there was a potential for refurbishments.
Chetna mentioned a bid for a creative enterprise zone with outer hubs and asked if this is part of the dialogue?
Steve said that that bid has been submitted and they will know soon but it was not linked to this one which is on broad theme of regeneration.
Mohammed asked how we can get lottery funding?
Steve said they would be happy to guide us.  We would need to accelerate the Community Trust.  We also need a track record.  They want partnership bids eg. with the CVA or as part of a consortium.
Linda pointed out that we have already been successful bidding for funding from the People's Health Trust (for our Street Action project).
Steve said it is partly a case of being on the ball with what funding is available.  We need 3 years of accounts.
5. Networking and feedback
The meeting then split into small groups to discuss  ideas about the bid and the feedback was as follows:

  • Paul - Unused shops could be usable space for the community
    • But renting is not an option as rents are too high
  • - Art/workshop/creative space and gallery.  There is currently nowhere for creatives to meet and hired spaces are too expensive.  Interactive space - everyone experiencing what everyone else does.
  • ? Does the Council own empty buildings that could be used?
    • Alison - None currently empty but there are empty properties/plots in the back streets which could be possible especially if developed with housing on top with the help of a Housing Association.
  • PINS - Multiple spaces for art and hot-desking.  Communal spaces are more inspiring.
  • A place where needy people can obtain help and advice
  • Beulah - small business space
  • Place for residents to come together - subsidised meeting space which is not too expensive.
  • Andrea - An entertainment venue.  We need to think outside the box re possible venues.  the Tesco site is too big and maybe we could use some of their space upstairs or in the back car park.
  • - space for business meetings and interviews.  Options of free space for those just starting out.  Currently she has to go to Streatham or central Croydon to find space.
  • Space for Youth.How to get them involved. Cross-generational activities.
  • Robin - Find out what the wider community wants not just what people from our group want.
  • Community Cafe.Start-up and meeting place with multi-cultural dishes cooked by local people.
  • - Somewhere like Tooting market which has about 70 small units.  It has taken a long time to establish but the local Community support it.
  • - who is new to the area asked what the advantages of Thornton Heath are that we should get funds rather than others.
    • - said there is a lot happening in the area, a strong Community and many creatives.

Steve then explained what we need to do next:
1. Consultation
How inclusive is it?  Need to be able to say as much as possible about how wide the consultation was and how it was carried out.
2. Prioritisation
Choose 6 vital things to include - Vote on these.  There will be limited space.  In S. Norwood they had to scrap the Community Cafe.
3. Find Partners
THCAT to lead GGF bid.  We need to find partners.  Who will they be?
4. Form Steering Group
Need to form a small group to bring this all together.  The following people volunteered:
Barbara Benjamin
Carolyn Crossley
Karen Barnett
Robin Francis
Chetna Kapacee
5. Timescale
Need to be ready to go 3 months after confirmation and the project can take 3-5 years in total.
6. Undercroydon
Jeanne Marie Eayrs and Susan Beresford joined us to present their project.  They have done about 100 funded Arts projects in 18 years.
A year ago they began work on a project on flytipping addressing very young people age 4-8 or 11 with a pilot in Thornton Heath.  They are working with Paxton Academy and Bensham Manor School.  There is a colouring book plus 3 murals coinciding with the colouring book.
An 8ft dog character will be created.  They are looking at he traits of the dog and what kind would look after the streets.  It will be painted at flytipping hotspots and they already have sites and permission from the owners eg. BT building on the corner of Frant and Brigstock Roads.  Pressure from the younger generation influences the adults.  Funding has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund and ITV are interested in the project.
7. Date of Next Meeting
October 30th, 7-8.30pm at the CALAT Thornton Heath Centre, Zion Road, CR7 8RG.
Chris Milton (THCAT Secretary)