Open Letter from Community, Cultural & Business Leaders

This Letter will be published and submitted to the recipients below at the end of March 2018. 

Jo Negrini, Chief Executive Officer, London Borough of Croydon
CC: Tony Newman, Leader of Croydon Council, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Dear Ms Negrini,

We are writing to you to voice concerns over proposals to demolish the building at 5-9 Surrey Street, which houses Matthews Yard, a leading Independent Cultural and Community hub in the centre of Croydon and a listed Asset of Community Value. As leaders of Croydon’s business and cultural community, representing thousands of employees and residents based in and around the borough, we wanted to record our opposition to these plans which will destroy this important community asset.

As you will be aware, a sense of place and the social and cultural facilities on offer in Croydon are as important as infrastructure and transport in enabling organisations to attract and retain the best talent and maintain a happy workforce. Safeguarding Matthews Yard should be an important strategic objective of the local authority as it will invariably continue to support regeneration efforts in Croydon and help to attract more new businesses and residents to the borough.

We urge you and your colleagues to do everything in your power to support Matthews Yard in their bid to purchase the building in which they are based and to safeguard their independent arts, cultural and community space for many generations to come.

Yours faithfully

Ian Anantharajah, Director, Beats & Eats CIC
Anna Arthur, Founder, Croydonites Festival of New Theatre
Dr Thomas John Bacon, Artistic Director, Tempting Failure
Paul Barnett, Director, ICUK
Shaniqua Benjamin, Founder, Young People Insight
Lorraine Bridges, Director, Bare PR
Karen Cartwright, Co-Owner, Project B
Atif Choudhury, Founder, Cafe Adagio
Alice Cretney, Founder, Turf Projects
Jon Diss, Director, Tanta Recruitment
Maddy Duxbury, Founder, East Croydon Cool
James Fleury, Founder, Nouvague
Mike Herd, Executive Director, Sussex Innovation Centre
Chris Howson, Managing Director, Sleeptwitch
George Ioannou, Founder, Art Rebellion
Adam Jackowski, Director, Brgr&Beer
Emma Jones MBE, Founder, Enterprise Nation
Stephen Kavanagh, Director, Stephen Kavanagh Architects
Neelofar Khan, Director, Zabardast
Owen Kingston, Artistic Director, Parabolic Theatre
Sam Kohn, Director, Nanny Outars
Francois Mazoudier, Founder, TMRW Hub
Tommy Newman, CEO, RSCPP
David Parker, Managing Director, Iceberg Press
Charlotte Price, CoFounder, Errant Theatre
Esther Rees, Founder, Norwood Collective
Neil Ridulfa, Director, Croydon International Film Festival
Katie Rose, Director, Festival of Peace
Mark Russell, Managing Director, Cronx Brewery
Saffron Saunders, Community Manager, Sussex Innovation Centre
Ben Selvaratnam, Managing Director, Freshfields Market
Davina Sirisena, Founding Partner & CEO, Agilesphere
Carrie & Nick Smith, Owners, The Ludoquist
James Stefanopoulos, Director, James Commercial
Reverand Lee Taylor, Priest, Croydon Minster
Chris Thomas, Director, Fuzzy Face Studios
Roger Wade, Director, Boxpark
Thomas Weldon, GM, MeatLiquor Croydon
Cassie Whittell, Head of Festival, Croydon Literary Festival
Jemilea Wisdom-Baako, Founder, Writerz & Scribez CIC
Julia Woollams, CoFounder, Croydonist
Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison, Founder, Rise Gallery

Your Name Will Appear Here.[/one-half-first]



Excellent Venue
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Excellent Venue, a friendly and relaxed place, where you are never rushed or hurried to finish up
Hotbed of talent
Hotbed of talent
John Wilkie
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A lovely place – a hotbed of talent. A lot of exciting things happening here – great to see wonderful theatre at a reasonable price, also great for food and to hang out.
Rachael Power
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Loved our experience here. Place is friendly and welcoming with amazing staff.
Off the chain
Prabhath P
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The staff are delightful, the service is exceptional and the cakes are off the chain
I love Matthews Yard
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I love Matthews Yard. I have spent many a long day here writing up my PhD thesis.
Great Value
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really nice relaxed atmosphere. amazing value and the staff are super nice!
Absolute Gem
Glass Moon Theatre Company
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This is an absolute gem of a space not just to perform in but also hang around in
Every town should have one
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I absolutely love it and all the charm it exudes. The food is great, the ambience relaxing, the staff are lovely and the events it holds are amazing. I truly wish every town and village had its own Matthews Yard. Go. You won’t be disappointed.
Trendy. Tasty. Good Looking.
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Love it. Trendy. Tasty. Good looking.
Best place to hang out
Deloris Daniels
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Such a great place to hang out, and the food is amazing
New York, Greenwich Village
Nick R
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Think, New York, Greenwich Village 1974. Very relaxed and friendly.
The most interesting venue
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The most interesting venue Croydon currently has to offer
The Croydon Citizen
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The precedent Matthews Yard has set for rejuvenating disused spaces within Croydon is unparalleled
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