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					                                                          CROYDON IN DETAIL
Croydon is a major commercial centre in South London and the principal settlement of the London Borough of Croydon.
It is 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south of Charing Cross, and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London
Plan. It is located on the natural transport corridor between London and England’s south coast, just to the north of a
gap in the North Downs. Croydon has developed an important centre for shopping, with the construction of the Whitgift
Centre, which opened in 1969. The Fairfield Halls arts centre and event venue opened in 1962. The Warehouse Theatre
opened in 1977.
The 1990s saw further changes intended to give the town a more attractive image. These include the closure of North
End to vehicles in 1989 and the opening of the Croydon Clocktower arts centre in 1994. Tramlink began operation in May
2000. A new equally large shopping centre, Centrale, opened in 2004 opposite the Whitgift Centre, straddling the site
of the smaller Drummond Centre and what was once a large branch of C&A. There are plans for a large new shopping
centre, Park Place, which will replace most of the eastern edge of the shopping district including St George’s Walk; the
redevelopment of the Croydon Gateway site; and extensions of Tramlink to Purley, Streatham, Lewisham and Crystal
Palace. Croydon has become the second-largest place to shop in the south east, after central London, offering a wide
range of shops and department stores. It is also home to many high density buildings such as the Nestlé Tower, being
London’s third main CBD, after the Square Mile and the Docklands and South London’s main business centre.
The Croydon area is served by various hospitals of which the main one is Mayday University Hospital in London Road.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has stated that he would support Croydon becoming an official city.

There are several arts venues. Foremost amongst these is the Fairfield Halls, which consists of a large concert hall
frequently used for BBC recordings, the Ashcroft Theatre and the Arnhem Gallery. Fairfield is the home of the London
Mozart Players, whose Principal Guest Conductor is flautist Sir James Galway. Many famous faces have appeared at the
Fairfield Halls, including The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Dionne Warwick, Jools Holland and Coolio. The main
concert hall was used for the conference scene in the Tom Hanks film The Da Vinci Code.
The Warehouse Theatre is a studio theatre known for promoting new writing, as well as comedy and youth theatre.
Croydon Clocktower, built by the London Borough of Croydon in the mid-1990s, houses a state-of-the-art library, the
David Lean cinema, a performance venue in the old reference library and the town museum. The Pembroke Theatre had
many productions with well known actors before its closure in about 1962.
There are several local and small venues for comedy and community events dotted around Croydon and its neighbourhoods.
Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation celebrated its 40th birthday in 2005. There are several community arts groups,
particularly in the large Asian community. There are controversial plans to develop an arena for entertainment and
sporting events at the Croydon Gateway site.

Croydon has been at the centre of the development of the dubstep genre, a relatively recent musical development that
traces its roots from Jamaican dub music, UK Garage and drum and bass.
Croydon also has a thriving rock scene with regular gigs at The Ship, Walkabout, The Green Dragon, The Brief and The
Croydon is home to the BRIT School for performing arts and technology, based in Selhurst, which has produced stars
such as Katie Melua, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and members of The Feeling & The Kooks.

Croydon also plays host to the filming of the popular Channel 4 show, Peep Show. Croydon is also home to several
video game developers, including Crawfish. The ITV police drama The Bill, although is set in East London, is filmed in
Croydon, many of the town centre locations are filmed around Surrey Street and St George’s House (the Nestle Building).
Sun Hill Police station is situated in nearby Mitcham.

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                                                           CROYDON IN DETAIL
The old London to Brighton road used to pass through the town on North End before it was shut off to motor traffic. The
A23 now bypasses the centre of the town and follows Purley Way, to the west of the area, instead. The Brighton Main
Line railway route south from Croydon links the town to Sussex, Surrey, and Kent and to Central London to the north:
providing direct services to Hastings, Southampton, Brighton, Portsmouth, Gatwick Airport, Bedford and Luton. Also
running through Croydon is the N/S cross-country line which links Manchester and Reading directly with South London,
the south east, and the South Coast. The main station for all these services is East Croydon station in the centre of the
town centre. East Croydon station is the largest and busiest railway station in Croydon and the third busiest in London,
excluding those in Travelcard Zone 1. West Croydon station serves all trains travelling west except the fastest. There
are also more regional stations scattered around the borough. Passenger rail services through Croydon are provided by
Southern and First Capital Connect.
The light rail system Tramlink (Operated by Tramtrack Croydon, a wholly owned subsidy of Transport for London),
opened in 2000, and Croydon serves as its main hub. Its network consists of three lines, from Elmers End to West
Croydon, from Beckenham to West Croydon, and from New Addington to Wimbledon, with all three lines running via the
Croydon loop on which it is centred on. It has been highly successful, environmentally-friendly and a reliable light rail
system carrying around 22 million passengers a year. It is also the only tram system in London but there is another light
rail system in the Docklands. It serves Mitcham, Woodside, Addiscombe and the Purley Way retail and industrial area
amongst others. An extension to Crystal Palace is currently being developed by Transport for London with the support
of the council and the South London Partnership. The extension could be in service by 2013. Other possible extensions
include Sutton, a new park and ride close to the M25, Coulsdon, Purley, Kingston upon Thames, Tolworth, Tooting,
Brixton for an interchange with the proposed Cross River Tram, Bromley and Lewisham for an interchange with the
Docklands Light Railway.
Construction of the first phase of the East London Line Extension to West Croydon is now under way north of the
Thames. This project will improve Croydon’s public transport connections to central and inner East London. It will also
provide the main impetus for building a modern public transport interchange at West Croydon station linking tram, bus
and rail. The East London Line Extension will be a major contribution to London’s transport infrastructure in time for the
Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in the capital in 2012. Two stations in Croydon, Norwood Junction and West
Croydon, will be connected to London Underground services.

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