It has been more than a year since a new immersive experience was promised to take over Croydon’s iconic Allders building in the town centre.

Westfield has remained silent on when or whether it will be taken over by LOST, which is headed up by the creator of Secret Cinema Fabian Riggal.

The takeover was proudly announced in July 2022, with a planning application a month earlier asking for permission to run from September 2022. It promised to “regenerate failing high streets into arts and entertainment districts”.

The project was supposed to be open throughout 2023, and coincide with Croydon’s turn as London Borough of Culture. Work appeared to start on the inside of the building but seems to have gone quiet.

This Is Local London: How the building was supposed to look nowHow the building was supposed to look now

The windows are now boarded up again with designs from artists. Despite the huge delay Westfield, in charge of the town centre, declined to provide an update on the project.

In April, the company, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, bought out Hammerson, the owners of the Centrale shopping centre, which was one half of the Croydon Partnership which was supposed to revamp the town centre. The buliding was transferred to the partnership by Croydon Council.

While Westfield could not reveal whether anything would still happen, Croydon mayor Jason Perry said he believed the Allders building was in a worse condition that initially expected.


Mayor Perry said: “Westfield has brought a new team in, I’ve met with them and I meet with Westfield monthly, master planning is the next thing they will be doing. We as a council are also doing some town centre visioning work.

“I think the Allders building is in quite a bad condition I think it cost a lot more money than they were anticipating. I think they are still in conversation with them, I think LOST were leading on it but now Westfield is leading on it.”

It is understood Westfield plans to carry out additional work on the building but it is not clear whether it will still become an immersive experience.

Allders opened in Croydon in 1862 and closed down in 2013. The building then became the Croydon Village Outlet, which was closed down suddenly in 2019 and has remained empty since.