Saturday, 18 May 2013

Matthews Yard Kick-starts Croydon’s Digital Revolution

Working hard for Croydon's future: Matthews Yard workspace
Amidst the grey buildings and tall office blocks deep inside the town of Croydon lies an innovative hub of technology, art and media which is developing a significant online following – it’s name is Matthews Yard. To local politicians, dignitaries and influencers, this exciting hive of activity doesn’t simply represent Croydon’s future, it defines it. So how is Matthews Yard changing Croydon’s image? And why are local people so keen to support it? The Croydon Gazette ventured into the heart of Old Town Croydon to find out.

Described by its owners as Croydon’s ‘Hidden Gem’, Matthews Yard is the kind of connected café you’d expect to find in central London’s Shoreditch area, equipped with internet, printing and offices services and good quality cappuccinos. When our reporter visited the venue last Wednesday, what was most surprising was the mixture of people enjoying, relaxing and interacting there. The community and customers that enjoy the services and surrounding of Matthews Yard aren’t all a bunch of youngsters in baggy jeans, in fact pay a visit any day of the week and you’ll find OAPs, MPs, politicians from all parties and all walks of life.

The site is one of a growing number of social venues providing customers with a mix of coffee and culture, hosting cookery competitions, theatre productions, community meetings and the extremely popular Croydon Radio channel. Pop onto Twitter and you’ll see numerous users interacting with or discussing their weekly and sometimes daily visits to Matthews Yard.

But the secret sauce behind this thrilling addition to our vibrant town centre lies and its target market, a hub of innovation made available to anyone and for anyone. For Croydon residents, Matthews Yard offers the prospect of an ethical connected café, providing discounts for members of the community services and workers in the local NHS hospital. The production studio offers local community groups access to a 70-seat capacity theatre, a co-working lounge for businesses, residents and community groups to meet, interact and go about their businesses and an impressive selection of alcoholic beverages to relax and unwind over after a hard days work.

Open to the community - Matthews Yard

It’s no wonder then why so many of Croydon’s political class have decided it’s time to get involved and support such a forward looking community project. Log on to Croydon Radio, download a podcast and you’ll find every elected official from every political colour chipping in and contributing to community debate.

The Croydon Gazette was particularly impressed with the selection of cakes and treats available to accompany the coffee at Matthews Yard, which we hope and presume were homemade by the smiling volunteers who staff the café bar.

However, Croydon’s digital future rests in the hands of the residents, Matthews Yard needs a strong flow of customer support to keep the good work and critical environment it provides running well. So the next time you’re in Croydon town centre and you fancy a coffee, think twice before you pick a mega-chain café and go wandering down Surrey Street and see what our reporter saw last Wednesday. Invest in Croydon by supporting the services it offers. Matthews Yard is indeed the gem in the heart of our town, but we all have a duty to support it.


  1. My husband and I went there in the last two weeks and met with the owner and founder and discussed the plans for the future of the centre. It made sense, our drinks were slightly late but we asked for them to hurry up and they came.

  2. That's not the workspace in your photo at the top — it's the café area :) The workspace is through the door on the left.