Broad Green

Big Local




Broad Green Big Local Partnership

We are the Broad Big Local Partnership and we are all local to this neighbourhood and have volunteered our time. With the help of advisors and local organisations, we have come together to try and work out how we can improve our neighbourhood with the £1million that Big Local is offering to us as residents of this area. So it will be local people deciding how to use the £1 million.

What’s this Profile is all about?

To start the process we need to prepare a ‘snapshot’ (a ‘profile’) of the neighbourhood. This will help us decide the issues that are important to us as a local community. It will allow us to have a picture of the community and will lead us to prioritise the solutions we create that will make a lasting difference to the area.

We want this document to explain what’s important to us about our neighbourhood, what it is like now, what’s good about it and what we would like it to be in 10 years time - our vision of our neighbourhood. We will also use it to check that the projects we fund are getting us to where we said we wanted to get to and we can chart our journey towards our vision.

Through the events we’ve have already run, we have had local people contribute their ideas but we know there are still a lot more people who we haven’t heard from yet and we want to have the widest shared view of our neighbourhood. So this is only a start and we want to get many more people to get involved in Big Local to get as many views and comments as possible. This will help to make this ‘profile’ as comprehensive and representative as possible. We will use this as the first stage of preparing a community plan for the area. The plan will explain how we intend to use the Big Local £1million over the next 10 years to tackle the problems we identified in the profile and fund projects to tackle them. The completion of the plan will be the ‘trigger’ for the release of the £1 million.

So please have a read of this profile and see if we have correctly identified the local issues or do you think there are other issues? If so, let us know? Also if you have other information, photos, stories, suggestions and ideas that you could contribute or that would fill any gaps in the profile or if you have suggestions as to how we can improve it, then we would love to hear from you. We want to share ideas, work on them and improve them then prioritise them and most of all we want everyone to participate so it’s a shared view of our neighbourhood. Please do contact us at:


Broad Green Big Local

c/o Croydon Voluntary Action Resource Centre

82 London Road

Croydon CR0 2TB







Where is Broad Green Big Local?

Broad Green Big Local is in South London suburb of Croydon. Croydon has the highest population of all London Boroughs at 363,400. Croydon also has the highest population of 0-16year olds in London at 84,027 residents, which makes up 23.1% of the total population with a rising population of residents aged 65+. Over the next 10 years it is estimated that there will be a 12.4% rise in the population of the borough as a whole. The Broad Green Big Local sits within the North of the borough and includes parts of three wards, Broad Green, Selhurst and West Thornton. Croydon has one of the largest BME populations, making up 44.9% of the total resident population; these wards are home to many of these residents.



The Broad Green Big Local Area has been extended on the eastern side of the London Road up to the hospital. This includes a lot of local businesses and the Community Space at the new Bedford House. The Broad Green area is home to 11894 people in 4635 households.

The Broad Green Big Local area is part of the Croydon North constituency.

The Boundary

Starting in South corner of Wandle Park the almost verticle boundary joins Mitcham Road at Marks & Spencer.

Travelling North up Mitcham Road to the Lombard Roundabout, it goes right onto Canterbury Road and over London Road to reach Mayday Road.

Follow Mayday road, which leads to Lodge Road all the way down to St James’ Road where the boundary runs down the train line between Oakfield and Wellesley Road.

This leads to West Croydon Station where London Road meets North End.

It goes down North End to Church Street zig zagging along the one way street to meet Rectory Grove from where is crosses the train track and cuts back to the South corner of Wandle Park.





The History of Broad Green ward, Croydon[1]

The area ‘Broad Green’ started out as a small triangular green and hamlet on the road between London and Croydon. The Half Moon coaching inn has been there since 1517 and maybe even earlier. In the early nineteenth century the green was enclosed and houses built on it - some of these are still here today. Also during the nineteenth century, large houses and villas were built along the road to the north and south of Broad Green and parts of the road became known as 'Millionaires' Row'.

Between around 1860 and 1910, many of the current streets were laid out and terraced houses built for lower middle class families - the area changed from being so exclusive and became a more ordinary, higher density suburb of Croydon.

During the twentieth century several high rise blocks (offices as well as residential) and housing estates were built and the demographic of the area changed again.

The Broad Green area was particularly hit by the riots that took place in 2011 across England. Buildings were burnt down and shops were looted and there has since been a divide in the community. Trust was damaged within the community and short term initiatives since have not helped to bring the community together.

We hope that through the Broad Green Big Local programme we can mend this divide and bring people back together. We want to create a positive village culture.

Ward Boundaries

The Big Local area reaches over the boundaries of three wards. However, the area of West Thornton and Selhurst that is covers are very small compared with the area of Broad Green ward. It is important to highlight the needs of the residents in the top corner of the Big Local area, and identify the facilities and opportunities that could arise. The majority of the profile statistical information has been developed by the Local Trust for the whole Big Local Area. I have used some Broad Green ward statistics in order to show the comparisons across National data.



Broad Green Big Local has a population of 11894[2] estimated to rise by 45% by 2040 and it has reportedly become more crowded than the average for Croydon[3]: - the population of Broad Green Ward as a whole is 18,652[4] - the population density is 6,444 persons per sq km - higher than the 4,129 per sq km for Croydon as a whole.

The Gender split is pretty equal with men making up 49.28% of the population and women making up 50.72%.

38% of the population are children aged up to 24. 36% are aged 25-44 and there is a relatively small number of older residents aged 65+ (7.07%).[5]



The ward is more diverse the average for Croydon, with a higher proportion of new residents: - 71%[6] are from Black and Minority Ethnic background, compared with 44.4% across Croydon.

There is a large Asian population making up 35% of the population, these are mainly Indian and Tamil communities. There is also a well-established Black African & Caribbean Community that make up just over a quarter of the population (26%)

46.2% of the local population of Broad Green Ward as whole were not born in UK, compared with 29.6% across Croydon - 16.9% are in households where no-one has English as their first language, which is much higher than the average for Croydon as a whole 7.9%[7]

Out of all usual residents aged 3 and over, 69% speak English as their main language; 7%  speak other European languages; 20% Asian languages the remaining 4% other languages (African, Turkish and other languages.

Out of a population of 11894, 51% were born in the UK; 8% were born in other European countries; 12% are from Africa and 23% are from Asia.


The last few years have seen new Armenian and Afghan communities. Residents enjoy the diverse nature of the area, they value differences between the cultures and recognise the needs for each community to retain their identity. All of the different cultural communities have faith led and other groups that support their members. There are a large number of small groups catering for the different communities needs- caring for their young people and older people, sharing their heritage and teaching languages.

The Big Local partnership aims to bring these cultural and faith groups together so that in the future these groups can share their commonalities and enjoy their differences and work more efficiently to create a joined up Village culture.


Poverty Indicators[8]

According to the way that Poverty is measured nationally, 62% of the Broad Green Big Local area experiences at least one dimension of poverty.  This mean that the majority of the households of Broad Green Big Local area are affected by one or more of the following indicators:

·         Employment: any working age member of a household not a full-time student is either unemployed or long-term sick;

·         Education: no person in the household has at least level 2 education (5 GCSEs or equivalent), and no person aged 16-18 is a full-time student;

·         Health and disability: any person in the household has general health 'bad or very bad' or has a long term health problem; and

·         Housing: Household's accommodation is ether overcrowded, with an occupancy rating -1 or less, 1 or is in a shared dwelling, or has no central heating.




Economy & Education[9]

The good news for the area is that 70 % of the population aged 16-74 are Economically Active. This means that they are working – full-time (36%), part-time (13%) or self-employed (7 %) - claiming benefits (8%) or in Full Time education (6%).

The 30% are retired, caring for family, long term sick or disabled or not claiming or eligible for any benefits due to being a student or other reasons.


Of those people working 23% are in professional occupations, managers, directors and senior officials 23% (1185) are in associate professional, technical and administrative jobs; 6% (328) are in process, plan and machine operative jobs; 14% (723) are in sales and customer service occupations; 9% (490) are in skilled trade occupations; and 12% (607) are in caring, leisure and other service occupations.


However, 19% of the population aged over 16 have no qualifications.

This is higher than the Croydon and London average,

but lower than the average across England.

On the flipside, however, 28% of the population have achieved qualifications to degree level which is only a fraction lower than the English average.

27% of the population mainly have level 1 or

2 qualifications which means that the population is academically only reaching the equivalent of GCSE level or below with 11% achieving at least 2 Alevels or equivalent.


There are only three primary schools in the area but there are secondary schools outside the area and new schools being built all of whom have been involved in this process and are keen to be engaged fully in the future




82% (9798) say their health is good or very good; 12% (1456) say their health is fair;

5% (640) say their health is bad or very bad across the Broad Green Big Local area

In Broad Green Ward , 26.48% of the working aged population have a limiting or long term illness that affects their lives to a certain degree[11]. Over the last 10 years, there has been a small but significant increase in claims for Attendance Allowance and a slight rise in claims for Disability Allowance[12].

The average life expectancy in Broad Green Ward is 75.90 years old as opposed to 83.5% in the south of the borough.[13]

There are no health centres but there are GPs and Dentists in the area and the Croydon University Hospital at the North edge of the area.




37% of the people living in the area own their own home over half of these people are still paying off the mortgage or loan, with 2% of them in a shared ownership agreement. This may rise over the next few years with the increase in property developments in the area and recognised need for ‘affordable housing’.

26% are living in social housing which again is likely to rise as social landlord Affinity Sutton, Guinness Trust Housing Associations are involved in the developments in the area.

36% are privately renting from a landlord, letting agency or less formal arrangement.




49.2% live in a flat, maisonette or apartment compared with 36.3% in Croydon as a whole. The majority of these are purpose built (32.8%) and only 8.63% are converted houses with 1.86% living above commercial properties.

Most of the houses are terraced (34.08%) with less in semi-detached (18.14%) and very few in detached houses (5%)


28.95% of households are living in overcrowded conditions and 3.05 have no central heating. The Overcrowding rates are much higher than the Croydon average of 16.78% and the London average of 21.26%. Overcrowding is an issue that has an impact on mental and physical health and academic achievement.



Compared to the rest of the borough Broad Green Big Local has very limited green spaces with just 4.5% compared with 32.2% across Croydon. Lack of open and green spaces has an impact on the environment in terms of pollution, but also on the mental and physical wellbeing of the local people.


Walking around the area there is definitely a lack of parks, welcoming communal areas or even looked after front gardens.  Canterbury Recreation Ground and Wandle Park are the only open spaces in the Big Local Area.







People without access to private transport are likely to experience barriers in accessing key services including hospitals, employment centres, supermarkets and other amenities. National research has indicated that a lack of transport can contribute to social exclusion in urban areas.


The area is well served with three types of public transport – trains, trams and buses. This is reflected in the Public Transport Accessibility score which is higher than average: 4.4 compared with 3.1 across Croydon[15].

30% of working people use public transport to get to work with only less than 1% riding a bicycle


Nearly half the population do not own a car at all (47.06%) and 41.04% own one and a minority of households owning more than 1 car.



Incidents of all recorded crime in a given month will change due to different policing strategy, the weather or time of the year. According to figure for January 2015, the figures show recorded crime fractionally higher than the rest of the borough which is likely to relate to the density of the population, number of houses and the number of shops in the area. 

In that month,thefts constituted 10% of all recorded offence making it the highest incidence of Burglary 3.36, shoplifting 2.38 with Robbery, Bicycle, and other theft offences constituting 3.55

Violent and sexual offences reached 2.84 of the recorded offences per 1000 of the population. This could include Domestic Abuse which is often higher in more densely populated areas.

Drug related crimes made up .30 and Anti-Social Behaviour (which could be related to substance misuse) is 2.33%

According to the surveys with residents and businesses the perception of the area seems to be more grim with concern being raised over drug-dealing and substance misuse and anti-social behaviour and awareness of gang related issues.





There are a large number of small shops- either family run convenience shops, along Mitcham Road and London Road. There also industrial estates and a number of unkempt and empty office blocks along London Road. Westfield Shopping Centre will be built by 2017.



Community Facilities

Broad Green Big Local is blessed with a wide range of voluntary sector services, faith groups and second tier services to support the Voluntary Sector organisations in the area. The aim would be to support these groups to work effectively in partnership to meet the recognised needs of residents.


Resident views

When asked, the residents were proud to live in a diverse and vibrant part of Croydon, whilst some were attracted to the cheaper homes in the area they are committed to making Broad Green Big Local into the village that it was once. They want to work with the people and organisation to improve the local environment but also meet the needs of the community. They want to bridge the gap that appears between the Young People and Older residents, creating opportunities for these two groups to learn from and about each other.

The main concern was the seemingly lost generation of young people caught up in a growing cycle of lack of qualifications, exclusion, gang involvement, drug-use and dealing and general anti-social behaviour. Residents were sensitive  to the needs of the young people and recognised that there ar complex underlying issues that need to be addressed through the Big Local plan.

The residents can see the potential in the area. The building of Westfield, new homes and schools will bring about great change in area but they recognise that this change needs to be managed and people and local prepared, engaged and involved in the change.



What’s Big Local all about?

The Big Local is a Big Lottery funded project that is awarded each year to a Local Authority.

Croydon was awarded the money and Broad Green met the criteria set by the Lottery

ü  Recognised need

ü  Alternative investment and opportunities available

ü  Necessary infrastructure available to support the developments


The area described as Broad Green was selected by the Big Local Trust.


Big Local is a Big Lottery investment of £1million in the area and aims to leave a lasting legacy in the neighbourhood. This is not just about money – its over-arching aim is to ‘bring together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live’.


It’s also NOT about...

o   Government or big organisations telling us what to do

o   Little local groups pursuing their pet issues without talking to a wide range of different people who live and work in our neighbourhood

o   Short-term thinking and ‘quick fixes’ – we’ve got 10 years or more to plan and deliver the things that will make a lasting difference for our neighbourhood


This is a REAL opportunity to bring together ALL the major and smaller players in the area and create a really effective response to the needs of the community in the long-term.


Residents have the chance to be actively involved in what happens in their neighbourhood now and to create a sustainable infrastructure for generations to come.


Broad Green Big Local - the story so far


The Steering Group has

ü  Created a logo

ü  Distributed leaflets

ü  We have researched the local area and mapped out all the services and groups that support residents in the local area.

ü  We have looked at the bigger picture and included the strategies and developments in the borough that are having an impact on neighbourhood.

ü  We have developed a website space that has the potential to be a source of information for residents but also a way of sharing issues and ideas


Who has been involved so far?

The steering group set up to get the Broad Green Big Local underway includes representatives from


ü  Men and women

ü  Older residents

ü  Younger residents (over 18)

ü  Broad Green resident Association

ü  Selhurst residents

ü  Broad Green residents

ü  West Thornton residents

ü  People from diverse range of cultures and religions

ü  People of different incomes or with different skills

ü  Business people


Those residents involved in the partnership will be representing the interests of the community not their own individual interests. It is important that the residents in the Big Local Area have trust in the Partnership. We will build this trust by being transparent in our election of the partnership, decision making processes and by delivering the agreed plans to make change in the area.


We need people who can

ü Listen

ü Speak

ü Promote the Big Local

ü Find solutions to problems

ü Advocate on other people’s behalf





Most of all we need people who are

ü  Interested in making change

ü  Passionate about improving the Broad Green Big Local Area

ü  Happy to work with lots of different people

ü  Respectful of others opinions, even if they clash with their own

ü  A good team player

ü  Able to commit a certain amount of time



What is happening in the area?

In order to ensure that Broad Green Big Local is working in a joined up way we also need people who are employed to make decisions about issues that affect our residents. Over the next 10 years, we have the opportunity to influence strategy and ensure residents’ voices are heard.


There is a lot of development in the area – housing, schools and shopping- what will that mean for the people of the area?


ü Westfield- the development of the new shopping centre by 2017 is an important issue for local businesses and residents. We want to ensure that the centre has benefits the people in the area.

ü Housing Developments- there are a large number of new housing developments throughout the area. We need to ensure the Big Local is ready to engage with new residents

ü School Developments – there are three schools being built in the area, by working strategically we can ensure that the facilities are available to the community outside of school time and the children and young people within the schools benefit and are included in the Big Local projects.

ü Public Health- with the changes taking place in the NHS it is important that we work in a co-ordinated way to tackle the health issues identified by residents and inequalities identified by the Joint Strategic Partnership.    Transport- many issues of accessibility can be solved by having a sustainable strategic transport plan that co-ordinates routes around the area, considering all pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and public transport.


We will be working with Croydon Voluntary Action to ensure any Big Local decisions are included in the wider Neighbourhood Plan.

We are working with the Safer Neighbourhood Police, have talked to Local Councillors and relevant Council Officers.














[1] Community First Plan 26/03/2013

[2] Local Trust Big Local  area dataset February 2016

[3] London Datastore

[4] 2011 Census

[5] All stats 2011 Census

[6] Local trust big local area dataset February 2016

[7] All stats 2011 Census

[8] Q1 2015 DWP

[9] 2011 Census

[10] 2001/2011 Census

[11] 2011 Census

[12] DWP reports 203/2014

[13] Croydon observatory health and disability headline indicators/ life expectancy at birth for wards/1999-2003

[14] Big Local Trust Dataset

[15] TFL

[16] Police UK Jan 2015 monthly figures



The Big Local initiative in Broad Green aims to strengthen and enhance the area through the assets, strengths and connections of local people who live and work here. The initiative will see local citizens building on their talents and aspirations identifying and acting on their own passions and concerns to make their area even an better place to live and work.

At a time when new opportunities are coming to the area the local community will take the lead in taking Big Local forward in their area creating a unique programme of activity backed by £1 million funding over a ten year period. Broad Green is one of 150 areas across the UK chosen to take part in Big Local.

This sustainable approach to long-term issues will ensure that Broad Green becomes an even better places to live through the following outcomes:

          Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in response to them;

          People will have increased skills and confidence so that they can continue to identify and respond to local needs in future;

          The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises;

          People will feel that their area is an even better place to live

As a result of work already done in the area over recent years the local community has identified the following priorities which will be developed at the core of Big Local:

   To make the area cleaner, safer and more environmentally friendly by tackling waste and cleansing issues, crime and anti-social behaviour;

   To provide practical skills or support for local people to improve their employability;

   To provide positive activities for young people and educational-support initiatives;

   To provide support for vulnerable groups, including older people, parents/carers, people at risk of

   offending/getting involved in crime, new residents and those whose first language is not English;

   To create greater community cohesion in the area and to bring people of different backgrounds and cultures together


For more information on how Big Local works nationally  please visit the Local Trust website.


Proposed extension to Broad Green Big Local Area