Wimbledon businesses, residents and representatives from the local council, Chamber of Commerce, Police, community groups and press were all in attendance at the second 2014 Love Wimbledon Stakeholder Meeting held on 5 February.
BID Manager Helen Clark Bell provided an insightful analysis of Love Wimbledon’s achievements in 2013 and the positive effect this work has had for business and residents. Dramatic increases of footfall and sales for Wimbledon businesses during events such as ‘Wimbledon Winter Wonderland’, ‘Big Screen Tennis’ on The Piazza and our ‘Ride London Street Party’; Saving Wimbledon businesses just under £17k through our recycling service; Tidying up the streets through our Anti-gum campaign, jetwashing and the introduction of Time Banding were among some of the key successes of the year.
During the session, attendees voiced their praise for the work Love Wimbledon has achieved. Councillor David Williams commented that ‘Love Wimbledon are doing a fantastic job – the town centre has visibly improved’. Juliet Boyd from Sustainable Merton expressed her thanks to Love Wimbledon, commenting ‘I came to this stakeholder event last year. I would like to congratulate you on the work you’ve done and improvements you’ve made’.
Attendees were given the opportunity to input their ideas and requests for Wimbledon Town Centre. Hot topics included making Wimbledon greener, planting more trees in the town centre; Introducing clearer directions through the town centre, particularly to direct visitors to the tennis and better signage of Wimbledon car parks. All present supported Love Wimbledon’s efforts to make the town centre cleaner and better looked after and asked that we continue and strengthen this work to reduce gum and litter. Cleaning up the frontage of Wimbledon Station was also considered a key objective for the forthcoming year.
The future for Wimbledon certainly looks bright with plans for Love Wimbledon to lobby on behalf of businesses and residents to create an improved environment for our busy town centre. Attendees were in support of creating an ‘urban space to have lunch and socialise’ in Wimbledon. Many also felt that Wimbledon Town Centre needs to acknowledge it’s universal brand and use this to encourage inward investment. Helen Clark Bell commented that ‘it’s part of Love Wimbledon’s responsibility to understand the potential for Wimbledon and maintain it’s unique selling point’.
Helen Clark Bell ended that ‘Love Wimbledon’s plans for the town centre are innovative and exciting and we will continue to work with a variety of partners to improve our town centre’, urging everyone present to stay in touch by email, twitter, facebook and through our website. It was considered a very successful evening that stimulated debate and celebrated the progress of Love Wimbledon BID.
Eshaan Akbar from the Policy, Strategy and Partnerships Officer at Merton Council, was guest speaker at this event and provided a fascinating overview of the profiles of people living in SW19. To view this presentation click here.