Wimbledon Town Centre Survey

We would like your help to answer a short survey about Wimbledon Town Centre. This survey is confidential, and every response will help to make improvements in our town.

We have provided plenty of text boxes for you to add additional comments, so even if we haven’t asked the right question please tell us your thoughts and ideas.

Click here to complete our survey.

How to spend Father’s Day in Wimbledon

As Father’s Day approaches this Sunday 20th June, we’ve put together practical, useful gift ideas for every type of Dad, with presents that he will actually use.

Give him a gift that he definitely won’t forget. The unique experience of Cryotherapy at The F.I.T Partnership will leave your dad feeling amazing physical and mental benefits of a 2-3 minute session in freezing temperatures (-110 degrees celsius). Particularly effective on those who have migraines, chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis or arthritis, and so much more. Add some adventure to his health routine and give him a chilly treat!

     

Show your appreciation over a cold brew, by treating your father to a meal at healthy eating cafe Lu-Ma, Pizza Express or cosy pub The Old Frizzle, where dads receive a complimentary pint of beer, ale or larger. ⁠Or treat Dad to brunch, lunch or dinner with great indulgent burgers like the Mighty Block Burger at Bar + Block Steakhouse, or a crispy Buttermilk Chicken Burger at Bill’s. Both venues are family-friendly so you can turn it into a family affair for all, including the young and hungry. Choose to celebrate at Grilandia and dad will receive a complimentary special dessert.

Put a smile on his face with an advanced ticket for a night of comedy at New Wimbledon Theatre, or check out Elys Father’s Day Gift Edit which includes great gift inspiration like a whiskey tumbler set and 007 dry martini truffles. A home-made gift can be a thoughtful surprise – why not try your hand at baking some Father’s Day cookies or his favourite cake, with great kitchenware at Lakeland, or if he’s the BBQ king, give him a present that will make him feel like charring royalty. Gift him the perfect summer drink with a great selection of wines, spirits and beers from Majestic Wine – a great accompaniment to a feast in his honour.

     
Whether you’re giving a gift or going for an experience this Father’s Day, remember to #ThinkLocal and shop from local businesses in Wimbledon, who need our ongoing support through this pandemic. Click here for Things To Do in Wimbledon.

Co-working Spaces in Wimbledon

Need a change of scenery when working from home? Wimbledon is home to great flexible workspace options, for freelancers, the self-employed and remote staff, which are fully equipped and located centrally, nearby strong transport links and a variety of shops and restaurants. Even our local pubs and cafés are providing, comfortable spaces for you to work from, including Bills, The Garratt & Gauge, The Alexandra and more.

Highland House (Lower Richmond Properties)

Tailor-made office space including fully furnished serviced offices and meeting rooms for 6-10 people. Large open plan layouts or partitioned smaller suites available, with bike racks, a roof terrace and 24 hour access, including on weekends and bank holidays. Toilet facilities and kitchen facilities are also available.

Prices starting from £250 a month

Wimbletech

Co-working and community spaces for entrepreneurs, start-ups, local business owners and remote workers within safe, flexible, affordable spaces. Options include flexi areas, your own fixed desk or choose a private room, with a range of benefits included in the cost, from accessing a network of 500+ community members to discounts on events, and free marketing of your services.

Prices start from £75 a month or £3 per day

The Boutique Workplace 

Fully furnished modern workspaces in the Old Town Hall. The space includes parking, meeting rooms, office cleaning, broadband and 24 hour access.

Prices start from £500 a month 

To find out more, visit our full list of serviced offices in Wimbledon and contact the businesses directly.

Polka Theatre Re-opens

Following a major refurbishment, Polka Theatre will re-open on 16th August with a host of free activities for everyone.

 

Polka Theatre, the UK’s first theatre designed specifically for 0-12 year olds, is re-opening its doors with an exciting season of new productions and free activities for the whole family this August. Following its two-and-a-half-year closure, Polka will once again be bringing world class family theatre and creative learning activities to London.

The new state-of-the-art and eco-friendly building now houses two auditoriums: the flexible Adventure Theatre, which is the first purpose-built UK theatre for under 6s, and the fully refurbished Main Theatre, with new seating and decoration. The completely revitalised venue will provide unrivalled facilities for families and schools, including:

  • An indoor play space in the new Y C Chan Play Den
  • A sensory garden
  • A playground with a bespoke treehouse climbing frame
  • A large and airy café
  • A dedicated rehearsal and community space called The Nest
  • A purpose-built, interactive sensory suite designed for use by children with sensory and special educational needs, installed in the new Clore Learning Studio.
  • Improved accessibility has also been greatly, including level access to the stage for performers and children for the first time.

To kick off Polka’s opening season, the theatre have unveiled 3 brilliant productions that will be performed in the new building from 25 September.

  • RED
    An exciting visual and physical storytelling production with British Sign Language. Journey through forests and swamplands as you help search for RED and missing Queen Sukotai. But watch out for those sleeping wolves!

    Running Sat 25 Sep – Sun 31 Oct, perfect for ages 6+.
  • Cinderella: the AWESOME truth
    Think you know the story of Cinderella? Think again. Cindy and Ella are the REAL ugly sisters and they couldn’t be more different. When they meet a fairy godmother who’s not what she seems it’s up to Ella to save her sister before the clock strikes 12. Join us for a magical topsy-turvy adventure, we’re going to have a ball!
    Running Fri 12 Nov – Sun 30 Jan, for ages 5+
  • The Night before Christmas
    Bringing Christmas Eve to life in this festive production with original music, puppets and Polka magic. Meet 6 year old Amber (who really loves reindeers), her grumpy grandad and a surprise visitor who turns Amber’s world topsy-turvy.
    Running Sat 4 Dec – Sun 16 Jan, perfect for children aged 3 – 7.

In the meantime, from 29th July, the Polka team are setting up shop in Centre Court Shopping Centre with a new pop-up theatre space. Maanika and The Wolf is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, perfect for 3-6 year olds. The pop-up production blends the past and the present, the real and the imagined, as a grandmother returns to her childhood bedroom recalling stories from when she was a young girl. Talking to her granddaughter over Zoom, she brings her Indian dressing-up box back to life and re-enacts her own version of Little Red Riding Hood. But why is there another wolf on the phone and why does her granddaughter Ruby keep trying to change the story?

Polka Theatre will reopen to the public from Monday 16th August and offer a range of free activities for young children, including hands-on creativity in the newly planted Wimbledon Foundation Garden and the multi-sensory space, as well as lively and interactive story sessions. It will also host Polka’s Freefalling group, made up of children who face challenging circumstances at home or at school, a Youth Theatre summer school, and research and development sessions with Polka artists. Continuing to pioneer children’s theatre and creative learning in the UK, Polka aims to use their new building to continue to inspire young audiences, school groups and families in and around the local community and beyond.

To find out more, visit the Polka Theatre website here.

 

Spotlight On: The Angelic Juice Company

Wimbledon Town Centre has a new vegan and gluten-free hotspot in town! We sat down with Eliza, the founder and creator of The Angelic Juice Company, and her mum and Director, Diane, to talk about the inspiration behind the brand, superfoods we should be excited about and why they chose Wimbledon to open the first location for this family-run business.

 

Tell us about the inspiration behind The Angelic Juice Company.

I was studying skincare and therapeutic nutrition in California at the time and my best friend, Susan Boyle, was diagnosed with breast cancer. After having the lump removed she asked me to aid her in fighting the effects of the disease naturally. We embarked on giving her immune system the best chance to be at its strongest. So we began juicing daily by adding tumour blockers like turmeric and superfoods like kale into her diet and our aim was to alkalise the body*. We went on quite the juicing journey and we learned so much – it was so amazing and inspiring. Thankfully she is still cancer-free to this day!

Obviously, I can’t claim to cure cancer but it’s vitally important to make sure the body is at its optimum to be able to fight off disease at all times. The body is an amazing miracle if you feed it the right nutrients which is why we use organic produce to limit harmful pesticides.

We were inspired by trying to make a safe space for people with all sorts of food needs to go! We knew being a vegan, with gluten intolerance and multiple allergies, would make it almost impossible to eat and drink out. Health has always been at the top our list with our cold-pressed juices and detox shots, but we wanted to bring something that everyone could enjoy.

How did you choose Hartfield Walk to open a kiosk?

We originally were going to join Coffee Hart, iThai and King Falafel with a moveable trailer and a generator, when we found out that Love Wimbledon were creating these adorable kiosks. We didn’t have to use fossil fuel to power our venture and we were excited to be part of such a project. We felt Angelic Juice would be a perfect fit for the reimagined space that Love Wimbledon were trying to create. We reached out and were luckily able to be part of the stunning new ‘eat and meet’ space that creates such a fantastic location for Wimbledon and its friendly community.

What will we find on the menu?

We serve organic cold-pressed juices, vegan smoothies and detox shots as well as jacket potatoes, vegan burgers and toasties as well as sweet potatoes and regular fries (organic of course). We have a selection of gluten-free pasta dishes and have just started serving vegan allergen-free ice cream with some yummy sauces and toppings just in time for summer and the demands of our customers.

How do you source your ingredients?

We are committed to sustainable eco-packaging and use vegware as our main PLA compostable supplier. We source our organic fruits and vegetable locally where possible and make sure that the products we use don’t use any of the fourteen known allergens. Although we can’t make any promises, we sure do try our best to make sure everything is safe and pesticide-free for all.

Do you have a favourite superfood and why?

Hmmmmm that’s a hard one – my new favourite is açai. We have recently sourced a great pure form and excited to be serving açai sorbet and smoothie bowls in the coming weeks!

Look out for our Buddha bowls this summer and when winter rolls around, come and try our homemade soups.

 

Pop by The Angelic Juice Company in Hartfield Walk, near Morrisons, open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm.

 

*Note that this information is not intended to give medical advice, claim to heal or replace medications. Always consult your doctor.

Hartfield Walk Update: June 2021

 

Every week Hartfield Walk continues to develop. The plants are starting to give added structure and colour, the wildflower roof has buds that are beginning to burst. The stallholders are meeting and greeting many locals, feeling the real benefit of switching to electricity from generators, as well as the insulation with the green roofs and cooling on a hot day.

New stainless-steel plaques have been placed around the space, with QR codes to scan, allowing you to use your phone to learn more. The bee-eautiful ‘Bee in the garden’ bike racks have returned and we are looking at other places within the town to increase bike rack numbers.

As with many new and innovative projects there have been some teething problems, and through ongoing snagging these are being addressed. We’ve had a few questions about these, so to give some answers:

  • The use of repurposed wooden lock gates for seating and wooden trim has caused some unsightly leeching onto the painted surfaces. The contractors have been cleaning this weekly and it is likely to settle over the next few weeks, this is being actively managed.
  • The bespoke bike racks had an issue with chipping, this has been remedied by the suppliers and have now been reinstalled.
  • The flaking paint on parts of the floor maze was caused by unexpected rain during installation, which we were hoping would not affect the finish. This will be repainted but requires better weather to ensure the issue is resolved.
  • We have received a report from an independent arboriculturist who confirmed the design of the seating around the trees is not detrimental. However, to be absolutely sure they recommended some remedial work to increase air circulation, which has been undertaken. We will commission annual reports on these trees.

The space is designed primarily for seating and stalls, with planting softening the spaces and messaging helping us all consider what we can do to be more eco. We would encourage people to visit the space, admire the green roofs which are starting to flower, say hello to the local businesses who have an improved space to work from and take a moment to sit down and enjoy a place which before was a soulless cut through.

As with any new landscaping, patience is key, so in time the area will continue to settle and develop, and the planting will have a positive contribution to our air quality, in addition to making the area look more attractive.

Love Wimbledon has published a comprehensive FAQ webpage to learn more about the background of the project and decisions made, and there are further webpages about how the project focussed on having a positive environmental impact during design and construction.

If you have any specific questions about Hartfield Walk please email the Love Wimbledon team, who will be sure to reply within a few days.

 

Centre Court Shopping Centre Donates Space to RSPCA

Love Wimbledon often facilitates collaboration between Wimbledon businesses and local organisations, and recently helped RSPCA Wimbledon find much-needed storage space in the town centre, so that they can continue their animal welfare work.

When Putney Animal Hospital closed last year, RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth & Sutton District Branch lost their Cat/Kitten Rehoming Centre, situated on the site. The branch manager, Laura Kennedy, approached the Love Wimbledon team to see if we could help the branch to find suitable premises to store their equipment and supplies for their animal welfare work in the area. The RSPA branch also supports Wimbledon Foodbank with a Pet Foodbank, and accepts and processes donations for their two charity shops in Earlsfield and Wandsworth. It was crucial to find available space to organise these vital activities.

Kevin Gallagher, Operations Manager at Love Wimbledon, approached the Centre Director of Centre Court Shopping Centre, Simon Plumb, to see if he could help. Simon kindly agreed to supply a unit (free of charge) for an initial 6-month period to Laura, and the whole branch, who were delighted and relieved at the news.

“As part of our ongoing effort to engage with the local community, we are pleased to be able to facilitate local enterprises in offering space and resources where we can. I personally am delighted to support such a worthwhile charity in a time where charities are in such need in the locality.”

– Simon Plumb, Manager of Centre Court Shopping

Laura, Branch Manager at RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Sutton, also added:

“Many thanks to both Kevin from Love Wimbledon and Simon from Centre Court for helping us through this difficult situation, it has been a real lifesaver!”

Here at Love Wimbledon, we like to support great causes, where possible, and help build new connections for our businesses, which strengthens the interconnectivity in Wimbledon.

Spotlight on: Sassali Interiors

Brimming with a stunning range of decorative products, Sassali Interiors is bringing chic, interior inspiration and great gifts to The Broadway in Wimbledon. The store opened during a turbulent period of Covid-19 restrictions in December, taking the place of the unit which was previously Wimbledon Party Shop.

Being a true example of a small, unique, independent business that adds character to our town centre, we chatted with the owner of the store, Saija Constantinou, to find out what the store has to offer to Wimbledon.

Tell us about Sassali.

Sassali is a privately owned, interior design boutique store that offers a collection of statement pieces, gifts and homewares to suit any budget. Taking the name from a beautifully sparse rural village situated in northern Finland, our inspiration and design language are drawn from Nordic sentiment and the aesthetic tone of contemporary minimalism.

We curate a range of stunning items that will complement any space, ranging from a collection of opulent scented diffusers and candles that awaken the senses and create subtle fragrance zones around the home, to dramatic glassware, ceramics and metals that bring those much-needed key accents to neutral pallets and spaces.

From natural materials such as woods, cork and marble to more contemporary textures such as distressed copper, bronze and micro cement, our stock is deliberately restricted and kept to low volumes, with new items arriving every couple of weeks. Every home and interior is personal and I believe you should reflect yourself in the essence of that design. It’s hard to make your space feel truly yours if you know thousands of other people have got exactly the same item. So if you see something that speaks to you, it might be worth getting it before its gone. Even our most popular repeat items have slight variations, which make them truly unique.

Do you find that Wimbledon has a ‘style’?

What I really love about this area is that it has such a huge range of architectural styles, rich history and collections of buildings spanning from different periods. This is all infused and layered with the constant design tensions of integrating the modern with the classic. Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian houses now with uber modern, almost industrial design aesthetic in look, glass and metal extensions strutting out of the side, or complete interior remodels that have rebuilt everything but the outer walls.

There is this certain feel about Wimbledon, a modernity if you will, that flows through the town. Steeped in history, regimented and almost slightly pompous in its stereotype, yet always feels it has this undercurrent of style, rebellion, and diversity.

The village obviously has some of the grandest and beautiful homes in SW19 and I’m always thrilled to see when some of my customers share their pictures with me. Pieces they have selected within the store and displayed as intended within their beautiful homes.

But interior design shouldn’t be exclusive to those certain few, I believe everybody should have the opportunity for a little guidance and inspiration. Traditional interior design services can feel a little daunting and a lot of people are put off by the uncertainty of their budget levels. Although we don’t offer a full interior design service at the moment, I love to help clients curate items to complement their space, advise on colour palettes or suggest areas for unexpected features and interesting vignettes.

Our boutique isn’t that large so we can’t keep a lot of items at once and so most of our bigger items are ordered on demand, but please come in for a chat and let us know your requirements and we are happy to source some inspiring options for you to browse.

What are your top tips and picks for summer entertaining?

It’s got to be all about outside dining and entertaining during the summer months! A huge part of our Finnish culture is the long warm days and that means looking at the most neglected designed areas in your home – often, the outside space. For those who are lucky enough to have an outdoor area, no matter what size, my tip would be to find those small accessories that can transform the ambiance. We have a range of cushions and blankets that are great for seated areas, as well as a large selection of candle holders and glassware that can be used to create beautiful mood lighting, that will complement any evening soiree.

We’ve even got a selection of wine glasses and champagne flutes for your dining requirements. We believe that just because you’re outside, it shouldn’t mean plastic!

What are you most excited about coming into your shop?

The people! It’s always a pleasure to meet and get to know my customers, many of who live in and around the area. I truly believe that choosing any interior item is a tactile experience, which can’t just be viewed and chosen online. This is why I encourage my customers to pop in at any time to browse new stock, or discuss with me what they are after. Everyone missed the experience of being allowed to go shopping, due to Covid, and I really want the community to experience friendly, helpful and personalised service that will inspire them to make their homes into a truly beautiful personal space.

Sassali Interiors is located at 270a The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1SB.

Remember that when you #ShopLocal from stores like this, you are supporting the local economy, as your money goes into the pockets of your neighbours in the community. By shopping locally at our independent businesses, you are also helping to keep the personality and diversity of our town centre alive, plus you receive great customer service which enhances our community spirit!

Hartfield Walk Frequently Asked Questions

About the Project

What is Hartfield Walk?

Hartfield Walk is a re-imagined space in the thoroughfare between Blacks and Robert Dyas, with new seating, planting and kiosks with underlying eco-messaging through art, graphics and play. It was created by Love Wimbledon and Firecracker Works and funded by the Merton Council Community Investment Levy.

What are the objectives?

The project aims to provide much-needed seating, extra planting and improved market kiosks for local start-up businesses, alongside an engaging area for children with some educational messaging about the environment.

How did you choose the location and the design?

Hartfield Walk has always been an unattractive and unloved alleyway. Market pitches have been available in this area where small independent locally owned businesses are able to trade. Through research and feedback and local knowledge, it was identified that the town desperately needed additional seating, new planting and the market traders needed help to eliminate the need for noisy, polluting generators.

We worked with a local business, Firecracker Works, experienced designers and creators, to develop a scheme meeting these demands revolving around an eco-message, which we then used to apply for funding. We consulted carefully with the stallholders and worked with Merton Council on the development of the scheme throughout.

How is the project funded?

When new building developments are delivered, a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is paid to Merton Council. This fund is available for local community groups to bid, for improvements to the local area. We were notified that we had been successful in September 2020 with funding of £120,000 (and £5,000 for a project on The Pavement, which we will be commencing soon). Delivering a project like this requires significant design expertise, talent and time and there are many constraints and considerations of working in an urban environment.

Love Wimbledon (who are funded by the businesses of Wimbledon Town Centre) also secured additional support from local landlords and the All England Lawn Tennis Club in order to deliver all aspects of the project.

The Consultation

Why was the project completed while the planning application was still live?

The majority of the project is public realm works and does therefore not require planning permission. The entire installation is temporary, (no foundations and no water supply or drainage) but we were advised in February that we needed to apply for planning permission for the installation of the four market kiosks. A planning application was submitted immediately but took some time to process before it went live.

The town centre had a number of challenges leading up to the re-opening of non-essential retail on 12th April. We took the decision to continue with the project as we did not wish to add to any difficulties for businesses – rather add a new outdoor space for people to enjoy when they do return. All feedback received from the planning application will be carefully considered as we understand the process is out of sync.

Town centres have been impacted significantly by Covid and need all the help they can get. Government guidance has been fast changing to enable high streets to reactivate themselves to attract visitors. A new extension supported a series of measures to help hospitality businesses in particular recover. These include:

  • Greater flexibility for land to be used for temporary events, such as markets.
  • Planning freedoms to allow outdoor markets, marquees, pop-up car-boot sales or summer fairs without the need of a planning application.

Wimbledon, like many other town centres, has been hit hard by closures. We can expect more. The fund was applied for as shops and restaurants were going out of business to not only activate a dead space but support local business, and in particular local independent start-up businesses.

Why were residents not consulted on the project?

We presented to the virtual Wimbledon Community Forum meeting in December, which was recorded and is available on YouTube. We were unable to undertake a physical consultation due to Covid, so ensured that our website and newsletters were informing of the project. The project has been in the public domain since 7th September 2020 when the project was approved at Merton Council.

Were the police consulted?

Yes, the designing out crime officer and the counter terrorism team were actively consulted and the scheme was adjusted taking on their recommendations.

Planting and Greening

How did you develop the planting scheme?

We worked with a horticulturalist with experience in urban and community schemes to develop a planting scheme that will respond well to the ecology and local environment of the site. Plants were unable to be put in the ground in this location so planters around benches were designed to accommodate both. There are over 50 species of plants introduced in this area that previously had no planting at all, 50% are drought-tolerant, many have pollinating or pollutant USPs and we also introduced herbs for educational purposes. A full list of plants can be seen here. We introduced green roofs (30 square meters) on the kiosks all of which will contribute to a greener space.

Where are the wildflowers/plants?

They are starting to come through, many are seasonal and as with any new planting, it takes a while to bed in. We intentionally chose young plants so that the changes in growth and season could feed into the learnings about biodiversity. Some plants may take 2-3 years to reach levels that are on the artist’s impressions.

We would encourage people to visit the area to enjoy these at different times of year to see the range we have planted – the scheme will respond differently through the seasons.

What is happening around the trees?

The structures around the trees allow for additional seating and planting with the trees offering shade and cover. The original iron protective guards which have been there since the trees were planted have not been touched and are allowing free-flowing air for the tree trunk to breathe. The planter and seat structures do not go to the ground so all rainwater and runoff will still reach the roots of the tree, as before. The small sections of astroturf were recovered from a different project – this was going to waste and is being used as a permeable layer, preventing cigarette butts and rubbish collecting at the base of the tree which harm the tree. These trees along with the whole site will be closely monitored and any remediation work will be undertaken as necessary.

How about a green wall?

Hartfield Walk is creating an interactive space with seating and stalls; we would love a green wall in Wimbledon but to be done properly it would need a large amount of funding and a long term maintenance budget – a good project for the future we hope.

How will the plants be maintained?

Love Wimbledon will maintain and regularly water the plants in the area, just as we do with other planted areas in the town.

Sustainability

Can you tell us more about the materials used?

Please refer to our Sustainable Elements page.

A few things:

  • Generators have been removed and kiosks are powered by electricity
  • Timber is FSC
  • Oak has been repurposed from old canal lock gates
  • Pre-existing bin has been refurbished
  • Existing pavement slabs have been kept rather than buying new
  • Water-based paints were used for their low level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Stallholders

How were the stallholders chosen?

Three of the stallholders were already trading on Hartfield Walk. The stallholders apply for a street trading license and are allocated a pitch through the Merton Council process, just as before. We are delighted that the project has attracted new businesses into the area.

Bike Racks

Have the cycle parking places been relocated? And if so, where are they?

The cycle parking has been replaced by new family-friendly bike racks in Hartfield Walk, opposite the entrance to Morrisons. The design and materials of these makes them stronger and more secure allowing bikes to be secured at two separate points. They are also located right in front of the CCTV cameras, helping to prevent the incidence of bike thefts.

Additional Questions

Will the area attract more anti-social behaviour (drunk people congregating) or rough sleepers?

We work hard to assist homeless persons in Wimbledon into accommodation quickly. To do this we work with Merton Council Housing Team, the police and Safer Merton and as soon as we discover anyone without accommodation they are supported. The area has CCTV, is well lit and the kiosks have been designed with angled sides so sight lines are good.

How did you choose the colours?

Simply through nature. Often, we think of natural colours as being neutral but with plants, that’s not the case. We’ve taken the colours of crocuses (purples/lilacs) with their stamen (yellow/orange) and leaves (greens) and created the palette. Plants want to stand out for bees, Hartfield Walk stands out using nature’s colours.

How does it get cleaned?

The area has the bins emptied and gets swept daily. It will also be washed regularly. Stallholders will also keep an eye on the area and keep us up to date.

Is there a long-term maintenance plan?

Yes, there is. This includes snagging (the space is not yet complete as of 21.04.21) and removing brown stains leaking from the reclaimed wood (we are keeping an eye on this and expect it to stop weeping over the next few weeks) This is part of the agreement with the contractors.

We have daily ranger visits to the space assessing any issues as well as weekly contractor visits. Longer-term we have a maintenance budget in place for watering, plant replacement and maintenance, graffiti removal and a new lick of paint if needed. There will be yearly surveys of the space which include electrics and structures.

How can I find out more about projects like this?

Merton Council publishes all their decisions and minutes on their website. Our application was submitted in June 2020, along with many others, in response to a public call for local projects to be funded through the Neighbourhood Fund. Bids are assessed by officers and Councillors against the objectives of the Community Plan and other placemaking and planning priorities such as the Wimbledon masterplan. Details of the decision can be seen here.

Are there more space improvements like this planned in Wimbledon Town Centre?

The new YMCA design of its redevelopment includes a new public space with planting on the Broadway and the refurbishment of the Polka Theatre has a far improved relationship with the building and the street, which is due to complete this year.

What about longer term?

We hope to see the murals being changed every few years, and with the passion and enthusiasm of many residents and businesses we expect to get some promising ideas coming through. The great thing about this space is it is designed to adapt and change, as the climbers in the archway develop, and the trailing plants drop the space will also soften.

Spotlight on: Tequila Mockingbird

Having originally opened in December, new independent cocktail bar Tequila Mockingbird re-opened on 12th April.

Launching in their biggest venue yet, the collection of trendy cocktail bars have taken over the former SMASH site, swapping the ping pong tables for bookable booths and a large roof terrace, perfect for summer evenings, PLUS they have a handmade stonebaked pizza menu for when you need a bite to eat!

We caught up with Jonathan Bas, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Tequila Mockingbird to find out more.

Tell us about Tequila Mockingbird.
Tequila Mockingbird offers an affordable and accessible cocktail menu with an emphasis on fun nights out, accompanied by tasty and interesting drinks. Now, and for the first time, we are offering our own in-house food, with a selection of handmade pizzas available exclusively at the Wimbledon bar.

How did you choose Wimbledon to open a location?
The brand is now in seven locations,  after having being launched in 2015 with our first bar in Putney High Street. Our venues have always been favourite neighbourhood bars and since re-opening after the first closure due to Covid-19, we were overwhelmed with return customer bookings, proving our customer loyalty along with an influx of first-time customers. The opportunity arose to take over the former SMASH site and we jumped at the chance, having been interested in opening a site in Wimbledon for some time.

Wimbledon has a well-established hospitality scene with a great mix of eating and drinking establishments, but unfortunately no real cocktail bars anymore so we hope to bring something new to the town, perfect for date nights and catch-ups with friends throughout the week, or a late-night party at the weekend!

Describe the vibe of your cocktail bars. What can we expect?
We have fully renovated the entire venue and have refurbished and reimagined the old Po Na Na roof terrace, just in time for summer and the re-opening of outdoor hospitality on the 12th April.

What is your signature cocktail?
Our signature cocktail is the “Mockingbird Punch” which is actually a secret recipe, but is a Tequila-based punch, served in a Tiki Mug with flaming fruits on top!

Tequila Mockingbird is located at 82 The Broadway (opposite New Wimbledon Theatre) and is open from 5pm – 12am, Monday – Wednesday, and 5pm – 2am,  Thursday – Saturday. #LoveLocal and book your table now to avoid missing out on killer cocktails in an alfresco setting.