Nestlé UK may be tempted to stay in Croydon

By Graham Holter

- Last updated on GMT

Artist's impression of the new Ruskin Square development
Artist's impression of the new Ruskin Square development
Nestlé UK may keep its headquarters in Croydon, despite reissuing a warning that it is "reviewing other options" outside the London borough in a bid to escape its dilapidated site by 2014.

The company is being tipped as a major occupier of the proposed Ruskin Square (Croydon Gateway) development, a £500m project which will transform a disused nine-acre space in the centre of Croydon into a mixture of offices and housing.

Croydon Borough Council is desperate to persuade Nestlé UK to remain within the area; the food giant has been based in the borough since 1965 and accounts for some 1,000 jobs, making it one of Croydon’s largest employers.

‘Deteriorating environment’

But the company has made it clear it is ready to leave Croydon if it is not able to find a better working environment for staff. In response to an enquiry from FoodManufacture.co.uk last Friday Nestlé UK refused to comment on the Ruskin Square rumours, and re-issued a statement released last September.

It warned at the time that “it has become increasingly clear that our current offices and the deteriorating environment around them do not provide a suitable base for our business or our employees in the medium term”.

Nestlé has been working with the council to consider options for the construction of a new head office.

Ruskin Square option?

The plans for Ruskin Square are currently passing through the planning phase, and include 1m sq ft of office space, as well as 560 homes and an arts centre.

Developer Stanhope & Schroders has submitted the plans, and first approached Nestlé UK last October with an offer to house them in the development near East Croydon station, although construction is unlikely to start before 2013.

Nestlé UK previously warned that, “whilst we continue to work with the council on the redevelopment of the mid-town area, we have now after many years been forced into also reviewing other options outside Croydon”.

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