Crouch End’s sense of place and local identity are highly associated with the town centre. It is the perception of its vitality and retail composition, its relationship with new forms of economic activity and employment, its cultural and creative capacity, its public buildings and the fine grain of the Victorian and Edwardian townscape, which dominate assessments of local prosperity.
(featured image Hugh Flouch under Creative Commons License)
What are your priorities for the town centre and the local economy? In the summer we asked local people to share their general ideas about the area, and now we’d like know your thoughts about what makes Crouch End’s economy tick, and whether we have successfully identified the key local economic characteristics. Click on the button for the questionnaire.
There’s nothing quite like discussing local shops and cafés to grab the attention of Crouch Enders, but what are the real strengths and weaknesses of the town centre – and what about the wider local economy? Is everything fine on the High Street? Do the independent shops, the Dunns, the Purkis, the Haberdashery, Esteban, Bishops, Haelan, Banners, Morleys, Irvin, and Muddy Boots (and many others) still hold sway? Do too many of us have a Waitrose habit? Have we the right mix of baker, coffee bar and gym? Is Crouch End still the most important centre in Haringey for restaurants and pubs, its night-time economy now supplemented with cinemas?
Does our reality quite meet the “arty locale” of a recent Evening Standard property supplement? Or is the town centre threatened by high rents, increasing business rates and the arrival of the Sainsbury’s superstore on Hornsey High Street?
We’re also told that Crouch End is a community rich in cultural and creative industry – and a hotspot for small start-ups in tech, professional and the creative sectors – but what can we do to enhance and protect the fortunes of these businesses?
And what of the challenges and opportunities – is growth constrained by the poor transport links? What could a restored and re-purposed Hornsey Town Hall add to the local economy? Can we re-model the streetscape around the clocktower, or calm the traffic in the Broadway? Or enhance the heritage and conservation of the shopping parades?
The Economy Working Group was set up in March to examine subjects including economic activity, employment, shopping, town centres, leisure, arts and culture, and regeneration. With a brief to identify that which is locally distinctive about Crouch End, we’ve been surveying the facts and figures about the neighbourhood – and consulting the community – to help figure out local priorities, set clear objectives, and form a vision for a Crouch End 10 or 20 years from now.
The draft priority topics are:
- Independent shops – and the right mix for Crouch End’s retail offer
- The future of Hornsey Town Hall and Town Hall Square
- Improvements and new designs for the town centre public realm
- Crouch End’s restaurants, cafes and pubs – and the night-time economy
- The future of small and micro-businesses in the area
- Crouch End’s cultural offer and creative industries
- Conservation of the town centre – improving shopfronts, etc.
The draft objective for the economy theme is:
“ Development in Crouch End will promote and support a prosperous local economy, with an accessible, attractive and thriving town centre served by a diversity of shops, independent businesses, services, restaurants, cafés and pubs. The public realm, infrastructure, facilities and employment space will be maintained and improved, with an emphasis on supporting creative and cultural provision, and small and micro businesses. ”
Once agreed the priorities and objective will help us write the Neighbourhood Plan, to draft local planning policies, and develop aspirational projects for Crouch End.