Really exciting news this morning that Westfield are interested in redeveloping the Whitgift Centre and have signed an exclusivity agreement with the Whitgift Foundation, who owned the freehold*.
It isn't nailed down yet - they will need to talk to the leaseholders - but coupled with the recent purchase of Centrale by Hammeron's, this is potentially fantastic news for Croydon. If we are to rejuvenate Croydon as a shopping destination and attract shops like John Lewis, we need centre operators of this stature.
My two concerns are that we get the right relationship between the two centres - whoever they are owned by, from the shopper's perspective it should feel like one centre; and that local people benefit from the jobs the proposed investment by these two companies are going to create.
* I should at this point declare an interest - I am a Governor of the Whitgift Foundation, although I haven't played any role in the negotiations with Westfield because of my potential conflict of interest as the local MP.