Over three years ago, prior to the start of the regeneration, the council commissioned a retail specialist to carry out research on Thornton Heath High Street.

It identified the need for more eating and drinking places, highlighted the lack of community meeting places and suggested empty business premises as an option for  multi use.

Crime, anti social behaviour and shoplifting also featured highly as being an issue for businesses and customers alike.

The report recommended that a business network or Town Team should be set-up and supported to  work together to improve the look and function of Thornton Heath. 

Thronton Heath has been assigned numerous regeneration officers but none of these recommendations were implemented. 

The council said it was investigating reactivating empty shops by providing opportunities for entrepreuneurs to take over as pop ups. This never happened.


The community generated a number of  leads of businesses interested in opening in Thornton Heath. Under pressure before Christmas with growing numbers of  empty shops, the regeneration team set up an empty shop data base in a bid to incentivise businesses but failed to get anyone interested in premises.

Independent of this pizza chain Dominoes, Fireaway Pizza and Yah-So opened followed by  two vape shops, a firm of solicitors and a Nigerian takeaway.

Thornton Heath Community Action Team also led a market pilot in a bid to promote local start ups. In the summer the council did put the market out to tender but despite interest no one came forward. However, the good news is that in the last month two operators have put their names forward to run the market.

Recently also a fashion retailer opened on Ambassador House forecourt in the old Elysium hair salon after the landlord dropped the rent by more than £10,000. It had sat empty for three years. LovEssy is a bespoke clothing brand established in 2015 offering modern ethnic prints and European textile designs for women.