Spurgeon’s College, one of the UK’s leading Christian Colleges, has sponsored and hosted the launch of the new Croydon Division of the South East London Chamber of Commerce (SELCC) from its campus in Croydon. Members of the Croydon business community gathered alongside local politicians and charity leaders for a COVID-safe event at the College on the evening of June 24th to celebrate the launch.
Working in partnership with the London Borough of Croydon and the Croydon Business and third sector community the launch event celebrated the collaboration in the community throughout the pandemic to support local businesses and focused on the need to harness this local cooperation as the UK emerges from the pandemic. Attendees at the event had the opportunity to network, share best practise, meet key partners and meet representatives from the SELCC.
Hosting the event forms part of the College’s commitment to supporting the local community through access to its grounds and facilities – something the College hopes to be able to do more of though its proposed development to improve the campus. This ambition forms part of Spurgeon’s College’s plans to become the first home-grown university in Croydon, enabling it to offer higher education opportunities to more people within the Borough.
During the event, attendees heard speeches from Julie Agbowu, Board Member of South East London Chamber of Commerce and Croydon Division Lead; Helen McIntosh, President of South East London Chamber of Commerce; Cllr Hamida Ali, Leader of Croydon Council; Richard Burge, Chief Executive at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Cllr Manju Shahul-Hameed, Cabinet Member for Communities, Safety and Business Recovery; and Rev Professor Philip McCormack, Principal of Spurgeon’s College.
“We are delighted to be able to support the launch of the new Croydon Division of the South East London Chamber of Commerce, and we are so pleased to be able to welcome members of the local community back onto our campus in a COVID safe way. Higher education plays a vital role in local economies – both through supporting local businesses and by providing highly skilled graduates for the local workforce. We are delighted to be working closely with the business community in Croydon and in turn supporting the economic recovery from COVID.”
Principal of Spurgeon’s College, Rev Professor Philip McCormack
“It is fantastic to be here at Spurgeon’s College, announcing the launch of the new Croydon Division of the South East London Chamber of Commerce. The new division will help us to unleash all the potential and talent that exists in Croydon to the benefit of our local community, businesses and economy. I also know that Spurgeon’s College itself has great plans for the coming months and years which we want to do everything we can to support.”
Leader of the Croydon Council, Councillor Hamida Ali
“Our vision for the new Croydon Division of the South East London Chamber of Commerce is to support the micro, small and larger businesses across Croydon to leverage the strengths of these businesses for the benefits of the residents across the borough. We were delighted for Spurgeon’s College to sponsor the event and be the host for our launch where leaders across business, third sector and the council are able to come together and look forward to how best to collaborate to benefit the local economy as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Julie Agbowu, Board Member of South East London Chamber of Commerce and Croydon Division Lead
“Through my work in the community in one of the most diverse boroughs in London and which holds thousands of micro, small and medium Black Asian and Minority Ethnic businesses in the borough, I know first-hand of the support these entrepreneurs need, and I am delighted that the South East London Chamber of Commerce has launched their new Croydon division to support these businesses in our community. I am especially pleased that the launch was hosted at Spurgeon’s College who are providing office space for the Croydon division to work from.”
Councillor Patsy Cummings, Ward Councillor for South Norwood, Deputy Cabinet Minister for Sustainable Croydon, Culture & Regeneration and Race Equality Champion
“As President, I am delighted to welcome Croydon into SELCC. We now cover five London Boroughs – Royal Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley, Bexley and Croydon. At the launch, I was delighted to sign the renewal of SELCC’s Affiliation to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and to include Croydon as part of the chamber family.”
Helen McIntosh, President of the South East London Chamber of Commerce