Matthews Yard – The site of #Croydon’s renaissance

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a MASSIVE advocate of Matthews Yard – a new cafe and workspace behind Surrey Street Market, established by Saif Bonar.

The venue is fast becoming popular with the various denizens of Croydon who have warmed to its urbane cafe culture and spartan style.

As well as organic word-of-mouth from its many patrons, Matthews Yard has also benefitted from the calculated efforts of Hillcrest PR who has continued to gain the venue borough-wide and national exposure, which notably culminated in Autumn 2012 with a visit from the Royal family.

Hillcrest PR dynamo John Lavabre (centre back) introduces Prince Charles to the workspace members of Matthews Yard

The appointment of Alice Cretney – a local artist – has meant that Matthews Yard now plays host to regularly updated arts exhibitions and cultural programmes (something that is dramatically lacking in the borough).

Locals have also formed the ‘Croydon Craft Club’ held on third Tuesday of each month 5.30-8pm. 

Croydon Craft Club in session…

Further compounding this sense of wider community utility is the presence of Croydon Radio – a venture founded by Tim Longhurst – which provides round-the-clock music, comment and personality.

Tim Longhurst and cohort brighten up Croydon’s airwaves (photo source: Inside Croydon)

On Friday and Saturday nights, Matthews Yard has live artists in residence bringing in crowds from across South London.

Temi Odesanya has been appointed in recent months as Matthews Yard’s Community Manager. An enviable role which has seen her boost membership of the workspace as she seeks to make Matthews Yard be at the forefront of Croydon’s social enterprise and collaborative workspace movement:

My affection for this place and the people there is boundless, and I look forward to seeing it continue to improve the social and cultural landscape of the area.



On Thursday 24th January 2013 7.30pm at Matthews Yard, myself and others will be speaking on ‘Croydon Tech City’.

We will be detailing:

  • Why Croydon should commit to this vision
  • How we will push Croydon Tech City forwards in 2013 
  • How YOU can help us

PUT THIS IN YOUR DIARY RIGHT NOW. YES, RIGHT NOW. I look forward to seeing you there 🙂

About jonathanrose

Raconteur. Intellectual. Showerman.
This entry was posted in Croydon - The Second Tech City, Local community and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Matthews Yard – The site of #Croydon’s renaissance

  1. Pingback: EVENT: #Croydon #TechCity – Thurs Oct 4th 8pm at Matthews Yard | Jonathan Rose's Blog

  2. Kake says:

    Thank you for mentioning the Craft Club! It’s monthly (not fortnightly), on the third Tuesday of the month (from 5:30pm-8pm as you say). Everyone is welcome, and we usually have some spare bits and pieces around for beginners to try their hand at something.

  3. There’s so much empty office space in central Croydon that the idea of a digital village could really take off. Similar things have happened in the past in the old Truman brewery and then more recently around Old St so why not in the offices around Park Street and St Georges Walk. Rent is dirt cheap there, it just needs a bit of a push from the council.

    I’ll be at the talk.

    • jonathanrose says:


      There definitely is a lot of empty office space in the borough and it looks like more is to come with the completion of Renaissance (amongst others) in 2012.

      At the mo, I’m taking stock of all the space in Croydon. Some of it is very cheap but still good quality (for example AMP House, near East Croydon Station has space going for as little as £6.50 per sq ft) – but even Grade A spaces like Renaissance at £22.50 per sq ft will still be the cheapest Grade A office space within the M25. There is office for everyone here!

      That said, I’m more interested in cultivating a collaborative workspace environment in Matthews Yard first (see:, before pushing people to offices in the area.

      I look forward to chatting more on Thursday night, Charles – see you then 🙂

  4. Great post Jonny,

    Don’t forget Matthews Yard is also the home of Croydon Jelly, FREE co-working days. They are brilliant for getting out of the home-office for a day and there’s a creche opened upstairs which makes it even accessible for working parents.

    Also, Saif is giving us a tour and talk this Thurs 27th as part of Ecademy Croydon meet (includes cake & is just £4.00 or £8 on the night) that anyone can attend. Please book at

    Hope I can also meet Temi too then,


  5. Pingback: EVENT: Social media for churches – Matthews Yard, #Croydon – Monday Dec 3rd 7pm | Jonathan Rose's Blog

  6. Pingback: #Croydon #TechCity - The Silicon Valley of South London? | Alltopstartups

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s