Croydon Creative Directory
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Why we created a creative directory for Croydon

We want culture to be at the heart of everything that we do in Croydon; to make London’s fastest growing borough the exceptional place that people want to enjoy, live, work and visit.

Since establishing in 2017, the Croydon Cultural Network has been a huge success. Bringing together over 600 colleagues from the creative and cultural industries to discuss how to make improvements across the borough, to increase the size and health of our creative industries, as well as to provide opportunities for more collaboration. The network informed Croydon Creates – our Cultural Plan for Croydon 2019-2023 and was consulted on our successful London Borough of Culture 2023 bid, for Croydon Music City and other initiatives.

The network usually meets a few times a year and is a great opportunity to network. Membership is free. To receive updates, see Culture network newsletter | Croydon Council

Our cultural plan has six big ambitions for what we want Croydon to be: 

  • A place where culture is for everyone 
  • A place where people come first 
  • A place with stunning, inspirational public spaces 
  • A place that is full and dynamic 
  • A place that celebrates its past and present 
  • A place where cultural entrepreneurs and creative businesses succeed
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Creative Enterprise Zones

Croydon has been selected by the Mayor of London to be one of the capital’s first Creative Enterprise Zones – a place where creative industries can flourish and grow.

Croydon CEZ is operating primarily across central Croydon in four key thematic areas - Space, Skills and support, Community and Policy in order to deliver an ambitious programme to further the creative sector.  Current projects include:

  • Supporting the creation of over 4000 square metres of creative workspace in Croydon, including artist´s studios, performance spaces and hotdesks.
  • Building on our rich musical heritage to develop Croydon as a music city – a place that encourages and nurtures emerging talent, breaking down barriers to success in the music industry.
  • A cultural internship programme, offering young people paid work placements with leading national and local arts organisations at the London Living Wage.
  • A subsidy scheme for under 25s looking for studio or creative workspace, which covers 40% of the cost.

At the heart of our CEZ are people – our Consortium. Consisting of 28 core members, it includes representation from visual arts and designer makers, music, performing arts, the tech sector, co-working providers, developers, the private sector, business support / enterprise and skills, education and community partners. The Consortium represents the creative business community in Croydon and maintains a vital advisory role in relation to the CEZ programme.  They are supported by a smaller steering group and Programme Manager, Marcus Harris – Noble.

Croydon’s creative sector has experienced strong growth over the last six years, with a 93% increase in the level of employment. This is the highest growth rate of any of Croydon’s sectors, with more than 1,100 jobs created.  Croydon CEZ will nurture this growth and take the sector forward to play a leading role in the delivery of future initiatives such as Croydon’s successful bid to become London Borough of Culture in 2023.

Croydon Music City

CROYDON MUSIC CITY is the response to findings from extensive ongoing consultation with our musicians, venues, audiences and stakeholders and research from SOUND DIPLOMACY. The initiative is working to develop, support and nurture Croydon’s “music ecosystem” to ensure that it is a place where music and music production is at the heart of the local economy, that encourages and nurtures emerging talent.

CROYDON MUSIC CITY works across five key areas:

  • Building a Music Industry Network in Croydon to share knowledge, ideas and skills.  
  • Supporting the growth of existing music events and creating performance opportunities for local talent.  
  • Working with venues to broaden the local live music offer.
  • Celebrating Croydon’s rich music heritage.
  • Sector skills development to increase access to the music industry.

The initiative is overseen by an Industry Steering group supported by Project Manager Marcus Harris – Noble.  The steering group works with the network in order to co-create solutions to the challenges faced by our music ecosystem.

Recent projects include:

  • The development of the Croydon Music City grants scheme for projects that contribute to the five key areas listed above.
  • The “Croydon Calling” gig series that placed up and coming local acts alongside world – class performers in local venues.
  • The “Live Lodge” delivered in partnership with Croydon BID, that brought live music to the street on North End.

If you are a local musician, venue or supplier of music related services, create a profile on the site and if you have any questions, please contact Marcus Harris – Noble at

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To hear more from the CEZ, Croydon Music City and the Culture Network, sign up to our mailing list.

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