Doddle Neighbour launches in Wimbledon

Doddle Neighbour, the sharing economy solution for sending and receiving parcels, has launched in Wimbledon town centre. This new service on The Broadway professionalises the practice of taking in parcels for neighbours, by paying residents and businesses to act as a hyper-local parcel service in their community.

Doddle has been recruiting Neighbours in the Wimbledon area and over the last month has received over 200 applications from individuals and businesses looking to earn additional income by picking up and dropping off parcels to the Doddle store at Wimbledon on behalf of customers.

To mark the new service, Stephen Hammond MP visited the Doddle Wimbledon store on Friday, commenting: “I applaud Doddle’s initiative, which will create flexible jobs for people in Wimbledon. Crucially, the service has an important role to play in tackling congestion and pollution on our streets as consolidated deliveries of online shopping have the potential to remove thousands of vans from the roads every day.”

Tim Robinson, Doddle CEO, said: “Doddle Neighbour formalises the concept of taking in parcels for your neighbours, something thousands of people do every day across the UK and we are delighted to announce our scheme and host Stephen Hammond, MP at our Wimbledon store.

“Doddle is about making it easy to send and receive parcels and Doddle Neighbour is the next frontier in this mission. Neighbour is about bringing Doddle services to local communities, taking parcels the final metre, not just the final mile, so that customers can send and receive parcels at a time and place that’s most convenient for them.”

For more information on Doddle Neighbour pop in and meet the friendly team at Doddle Wimbledon, 17 The Broadway, SW19 1PR. Alternatively visit their website.

Reed Wimbledon collects hundreds of Easter Eggs for children’s charity Jigsaw4U

Following an appeal for Easter eggs launched earlier this month, Reed Wimbledon has collected over 400 Easter eggs in just a couple of weeks.

The recruitment agency, based in Wimbledon Bridge House, Hartfield Road, appealed for people to drop off chocolate eggs that could then be donated to Jigsaw4u, a charity helping children and young people through trauma, loss and bereavement. Thanks to a huge swell of generosity from Wimbledon residents, over 400 eggs were collected. Reed Wimbledon matched these donations and officially presented them to Jigsaw4U in time for Easter.

Reed Wimbledon business manager, Wendy Raffety Palhaco, is thrilled with residents’ generosity.

She said: “It has been fantastic. I can’t believe how wonderful the clients have been. We have been very blessed. There are a lot of good hearts in Wimbledon. I’m proud to be working in Wimbledon.”

New Arts Space for Wimbledon Library

Arts Council England has awarded Merton Council a £62,000 grant which will be spent on refurbishing the back of Wimbledon Library to create a flexible out-of-hours performance and exhibition space. The award of the grant follows a successful bid from the council’s libraries and heritage service.

Called the Merton Arts Space project, the council is set to create a flexible area to include movable bookcases as well as chairs and tables and sound and lighting rigs which organisations will be able to use after library opening hours to stage their own events. The space will enrich the council’s cultural offer to the people of Merton, and attract library users and residents to the library to enjoy and benefit from a broad arts programme. As well as exhibitions and performances, there will also be impromptu “scratch sessions”, which will give the audience the opportunity to see new work being developed in comedy, music and other performing arts.

The council is expecting to open the new space this summer. A programme of events is expected to be published in early June.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Nick Draper, said: “Merton’s Officers worked hard to obtain this funding, which we will use to further enhance our award-winning library service. It will mean that community groups will be able to stage performances in an iconic, historic place right at the heart of Wimbledon.  Our cultural offer will become all the richer for it and I can’t wait to see the performances that arts groups will be putting on there in months to come.”

Love Wimbledon Annual Stakeholder Forum 2016

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.

Waterstones and WHSmith Units, Wimbledon Bridge House

It was with much sadness that Love Wimbledon learned in 2015 that Wimbledon’s large WHSmith and Waterstones stores would be closing. There is a new store expected to open in the units in 2016: Metro Bank. This new store is a retail bank which will incorporate a regional training centre.

Love Wimbledon is working with Waterstones and WHSmith to identify suitable new locations for the businesses in the town centre. As a Business Improvement District we want, like many customers and residents, to continue to see popular stores in our town centre and these would include WHSmith and Waterstones.

In autumn 2015 when Metro Bank applied for changes to the building, Love Wimbledon was at the forefront of lobbying the council to consider the impact the change of use could have on Wimbledon Town Centre. Our concerns highlighted in the comments included:

‘Opening a bank on this site will further restrict customer choice in the town centre by closing two significant anchor retailers, reducing Wimbledon’s attractiveness and retail diversity, thereby reducing footfall to the area.’

We also saw one aspect of the changes as a potentially positive addition to the town centre:

‘Love Wimbledon welcomes the redevelopment proposal for the ‘pocket park’ and public realm area, although we would recommend taking the advice of the Met Police Designing Out Crime initiative before final plans are approved for this area. We also support the introduction of an additional CCTV camera on Wimbledon Bridge.’ (This is the area between Waitrose and WHSmith)

At the moment a date for Metro Bank opening has not been set. We will keep our businesses and customers informed of any changes we know about so that you will be the first to hear where and when Waterstones and WHSmith will be back.

In the meantime the town centre has a wide variety of shops and just as a reminder:

Stationery can be bought at Rymans and Fielders.

Cards at Paperchase, Clintons, Oliver Bonas and Elys

Books can be ordered on line and collected from Doddle or get your second hand books from Copperfields.

There is the smaller WHSmiths News on the station forecourt for all the above – all right in the heart of Wimbledon Town Centre.

Love Wimbledon’s response to the Crossrail 2 consultation

Love Wimbledon’s formal response to Crossrail 2 consultation is shared below:

7th January 2016

Dear Crossrail 2

Love Wimbledon is the Business Improvement District for the town centre and we represent 430 businesses and over 15,000 employees and growing. With over 60% of Merton’s employment in Wimbledon Town Centre, it is a crucial commercial and economic centre not only for the borough but for the wider area.

Love Wimbledon BID support Crossrail 2 coming to Wimbledon but it must not be delivered at the expense of the economic wellbeing of the town. Wimbledon already has excellent transport links which provide the means of us attracting skilled employees from much of London. There is pent up demand for commercial space in Wimbledon with many existing businesses looking to expand and many others outside the area currently looking at locating here if a suitable site becomes available.

If residential growth is achieved in London, urban town centres will have an important role in providing the employment, opportunities and things to do including shopping and going out that reflects a growing city.

Wimbledon town centre must retain its vibrancy and congenial environment, and stay well and truly open and accessible during construction. Disruption must be minimised so that it continues to be a place of choice to own or run a business and it continues to remain an attractive option for employees, residents and visitors.

Please consider the following in your proposal for Wimbledon Town Centre:
Revisit Tunnelling Proposals

Currently there is only one option proposed. At the next consultation we would request the inclusion of an alternative tunnelling option to be included for non-stopping Waterloo fast trains below Wimbledon station.
In the planning process

  • Clear communication and detailed consultation with all businesses and stakeholders of the town
  • An understanding that Wimbledon is a busy and functioning town centre which is clearly reflected within the proposals
  • Awareness of the potential for blight caused by uncertainty of plans
  • Early resolution of the current overcrowding issues at Wimbledon Station
  • Provide detailed phasing plans of all work allowing for relocation of businesses within the town
  • Full impact assessments undertaken and shared (including economic, transport and environmental)

During construction

  • Minimise the impact of the construction on Wimbledon shops, businesses and cultural spots so Wimbledon remains working and is well and truly open for business
  • Be sensitive to the town centre’s functionality when planning for various stages of construction
  • Provide minimal disruption to our current transport services taking into account the impact of road, pedestrian and cycle provision as well as public transport
  • Work closely with Love Wimbledon and Wimbledon businesses to listen and respond to the business’ voice, recognising Wimbledon town centre as an invaluable Central Business Zone

Vision for the future

  • Focus on commercial space redevelopment – not housing
  • Make plans for an enhanced food / retail offer and high quality office space
  • Require all construction materials and finishes are of the highest quality and design both for public realm and new buildings
  • Make over station and line development part of your plans
  • Give our town centre a public square and improved urban spaces with strong ‘green’ features
  • Protect listed buildings and buildings of architectural significance / heritage
  • Provide sympathetic and sustainable designs with a maximum build height

Wimbledon Town Centre is the heart of SW19 with an internationally recognised name and postcode. We would urge you to ensure we retain this before and during construction and in 2030 have an internationally recognised town centre with an experience to match.

We look forward to working with you in developing the best proposals for Wimbledon.

Yours faithfully

Helen Clark Bell
BID Manager

Wimbledon Celebrates all time high Shop Occupancy Rates

Wimbledon Celebrates all time high Shop Occupancy Rates

Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District announced figures today that Wimbledon Town Centre has some of the lowest shop vacancy rates in the country. Currently running at 1.77 % against a national average of around 9.1% and a London average of 6.5%.  This means there are 277 trading shops and restaurants in Wimbledon.

In 2015 over 15 street facing businesses moved into the town include Franco Manca, & Pasta, Flavous, Paverly Bridal, Mobalpa Kitchens, Carluccio’s Pop Up, Help for Heroes, Five Guys, Firezza, Dip ‘n’ Flip, Bliss Coffee and Chickadee.

Intersport and Trespass are also due to open in the coming weeks and Dreams has recently reopened opposite Sainsbury’s on Worple Road.

Helen Clark Bell, BID Manager was delighted with the news:

‘Wimbledon is a great place to open a shop or restaurant – what is also very exciting is how many independent shops we are attracting as a town. Our research shows that customers impressions of the town centre are improving and the range of events and activities that are put on by Love Wimbledon get the thumbs up.’

‘The figures are testimony to the  improvements  that have happened in the town and are representative of the incredibly  strong business community in Wimbledon and the great customers we get in town. We are well and truly open for business and are really proud of our town’s success.’

Around 50% of the new businesses are independents, which reflects the variety and point of difference the town is experiencing. The run up to Christmas has shown that retailers like Carluccio’s are attracted to the town. The cultural hotspots including the HMV Curzon, The Odeon, New Wimbledon Theatre and Polka children’s theatre are part of what attracts many restaurants and cafes to the area. The increase in office workers has also been a major attraction for shops and cafes in the area.

A Wonderful Winter Wonderland in Wimbledon

Wimbledon was treated to a magical, festive day of Christmas celebrations at Wimbledon Winter Wonderland.

Love Wimbledon pedestrianised part of Wimbledon Broadway on Sunday to welcome Christmas to Wimbledon with our Wimbledon Winter Wonderland spectacular. Thousands were treated to festive performances, Christmas market stalls, street entertainment and children’s rides.

Shrek from New Wimbledon Theatre’s appeared to the delight of many and a giant stilt walking snowmen, fairies and a roller skating Christmas pudding brought the magic of Christmas to Wimbledon. New this year was the ‘magical marquee’ area which provided a covered area for families to sit, enjoy hot food and take in all the magic!

Sally Warren, from Love Wimbledon commented, ‘The event this year was all about families from the local area. We created places to relax, enjoy and take in the Christmas music, feel and entertainment. Not having a large main stage on The Broadway was a decision made by Love Wimbledon so that the flow ran well and the experience was enjoyable for all. We’ve had lots of comments on the relaxed and festive feel it had’.

With the Mayor of Merton officially opening the event at 12pm, musical acts including Borough Brass, Singswell and singer Emily Lee with presenter Paul Evers kept gatherers entertained with festive fun and Christmas songs. Children’s rides including a carousel, rodeo reindeer and a snowboard simulator gave plenty to keep children happily entertained.

Family photos took place within a giant snow globe and market stalls sold festive presents and foods, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, as well as a popcorn stand and candyfloss. Elys department store got into the Christmas spirit also with festive activity and entertainment on every floor. Centre Court Shopping hosted a stage with fantastic performances all day.

To see pictures of this event click here to be forwarded onto our Facebook album

Have your picture taken in the snowglobe at Winter Wonderland? Click here to see our facebook photo album

Crossrail 2 in Wimbledon

The Crossrail 2 consultation has now closed.

You can read here Love Wimbledon’s formal response to Crossrail 2 consultation

Details of the proposals for Wimbledon can be found here (factsheets S13 and S13B).

The Crossrail 2 Wimbledon BID business forum

CrossRail 2 Managing Director Michele Dix came to speak to Love Wimbledon businesses and landlords regarding the impact of CrossRail 2 on Wimbledon town centre. The forum attended by representatives from over 80 Wimbledon businesses, council senior management, local councillors and Merton Chamber of Commerce, gave the business community a chance to ask questions and be brought up to date on the proposals.

After pressure from Love Wimbledon, CrossRail 2 have published a new document (S13B) which provides clearer information for Wimbledon businesses and residents on potential phasing through the project to minimise disruption. Love Wimbledon urged CrossRail 2 to present potential phasing plans for the town centre to understand the real impact of the work sites: one of the biggest areas of concern from the Love Wimbledon businesses. Michele Dix provided a clearer picture on how the impact of the work could be minimised and stated ‘that they are still open to different options’ including a deep tunnel for fast trains that bypass Wimbledon.

New information presented included:

  • Potential phasing of works in Wimbledon Town Centre (to reduce impact)
  • Reasons for wanting to use Centre Court as a work site
  • Centre Court may not be totally demolished
  • There is potential to extend retail / office in over-line development
  • Longer term the area around what is now ‘The Fridge’ would be redeveloped bringing retail / leisure / place making opportunities above a new 4 platform tram terminal
  • Investigation of a tunnelling option for fast trains which do not stop at Wimbledon

Please click here to see the slides that Michele Dix presented at our Business Forum.

Paul Windsor, Chair of Love Wimbledon summarised the event stating that ‘Whilst there is overall support for the long term infrastructure objective, it is crucial that disruption to Wimbledon during the build phases is minimised and the new tunnelling option is a very positive step in helping to achieve this. Major improvements for the town centre could be leveraged on the CrossRail 2 plans and we ask that there is a clear and honest assessment of impact. The boroughs scheduled masterplan is key – these plans will affect what we will see at street level in the town’.

Diana Sterck, CEO of Merton Chamber of Commerce, commented ‘ Economic impact verses economic blight , the development of businesses and their needs must be taken into account in this area, it is a priority and we need to maintain jobs and businesses during build. ’

Helen Clark Bell, BID Manager said ‘Love Wimbledon will continue to push for minimal disruption to the town centre and support long term improvements. We are working closely with Merton Council, CrossRail 2 and the Chamber of Commerce to ensure the voice of our businesses are heard. We are part of a strategic team providing input to the councils master plan for Wimbledon Town Centre, which in light of the current proposals, we will push to bring forward to early 2016. Some of the new development would give us the opportunity for better retail and high quality office and public realm – long term this would be great for Wimbledon.’

Have your say in the CrossRail 2 consultation on their website here.

A chance to win an authentic poppy from the Tower of London installation

Win a poppy from the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London. The poppy is an original cermaic flower created by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper with it’s authenticity certificate. Kindly donated by Co-Op Funeral, Totting Branch to raise funds for the Wimbledon Guild. The draw takes place on 16/12/2015.

Tickets are just £1. Get your raffle tickets at:

Wimbledon Guild reception , T 020 8946 0735 or email the Wimbledon Guild here

Centre Court Shopping Centre on 12th November, 9am – 8pm

Christmas in the Village Shopping Day (outside Dog & Fox) on 5th December

Wimbledon Guild Carol Service on 10th December, St. Marks Church 6:30 – 8pm