Wimbledon businesses, residents and representatives from the local council, press, police, community groups and business groups were all in attendance at 2016 Love Wimbledon Stakeholder Meeting held on 9 February. 2016 is a very important year for Wimbledon Town Centre and Love Wimbledon with Crossrail 2 plans coming to light and the BID’s renewal taking place this year.
BID Manager Helen Clark Bell shared an insightful analysis of Love Wimbledon’s achievements in 2015 and the positive effect this work has had for business and residents. Dramatic increases of footfall during events such as ‘Wimbledon Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Big Screen Tennis’ and over 75 days of activity on The Piazza added vibrancy of the town; Saving Wimbledon businesses £110,000 through our joint procurment scheme; Recording a record 1.7% retail vacancy rate and distributing over 2,500 Privilege Cards were among some of the key successes of the year.
Strategic Marketing Consultant Sally Warren provided an update on the progress with the Crossrail 2 proposals and discussed the possible opportunities that could be gained from Crossrail 2. In the presentation there was a great emphasis on Wimbledon ‘staying open for business’ during the works and that ‘high quality, sustainable development’ is key.
During the session, attendees voiced their praise for the work Love Wimbledon has achieved. Marcus Beale of Marcus Beale Architects commented that ‘Love Wimbledon is working professionally to make great plans happen. I walk away from this meeting feeling positive about the future for Wimbledon’.
Attendees were given the opportunity to input their ideas and requests for Wimbledon Town Centre. Hot topics included attracting independent businesses to town, the YMCA development and maintaining Wimbledon’s heritage with new building works on the horizon.
Love Wimbledon Board Member, Mark Walker ended that ‘it’s an exciting time for Wimbledon. Love Wimbledon will continue the great day to day work, whilst looking forward. In light of the introduction of Crossrail 2 the BID will 1. Input into the Future Wimbledon Masterplan – critical importance, it demonstrates that the town has a vision. 2. The BID will co-ordinate with other community groups, as together we are stronger. 3. The BID will be tenacious and lobby hard on behalf of the businesses of the town centre to gain the outcome from the Crossrail 2 plans.