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

Love Wimbledon takes on Town Centre Graffiti

Love Wimbledon in partnership with local business Wimbledon Offices Ltd arranged for graffiti on the wall of Tuition House to be removed and the wall restored to its natural brickwork.

For years the wall on Tuition House has been an eyesore for train passengers and pedestrians taking the shortcut known as ‘railway path’ from the railway bridge at Merton Hall Road, as they come into Wimbledon.

Hardly a positive welcome into town, the wall had over 5 layers of paint built up from years of neglect. Taking matters into their own hands, Business Improvement District ‘Love Wimbledon’ arranged for the wall to be cleaned with the financial support of Wimbledon business Wimbledon Offices Ltd, owners of Tuition House.

BID Manager Helen Clark Bell commented “Wimbledon is an internationally recognised place and our businesses and residents want a town centre to be proud of. Working with Wimbledon Offices Ltd, a long established Wimbledon business, we have jointly paid to have this unsightly graffiti removed. This is part of our continued plan to make Wimbledon graffiti free and keep it clean.”

Clean walls and buildings signify a cared for and safe town centre. Moving forward, Love Wimbledon have had a special coating applied to the wall to ensure any future cleaning is easier to undertake and they will be working with Merton Council to ensure any future incidents are removed promptly around town.

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Before: Tuition House Wall on Railway Path before cleaning

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After: BID Manager Helen Clark Bell and Wimbledon Offices Managing Director Jean Taylor

Crossrail 2 in Wimbledon

Love Wimbledon – Reducing Impact of Construction and supporting development opportunities

Crossrail2 have announced their initial strategic plans for the new route and the potential impact on Wimbledon Town Centre. For more detail or to feed into the proposals please go to their website here.

These proposals include ideas for locations of new station entrances, a new vehicle bridge and the proposed enabling worksites.

The key dates are as follows:

Tuesday 28 October – Crossrail2 leafleting ALL businesses and homes in safeguarded area

Wednesday 3 December / Thursday 4 December – ‘drop-in’ consultation on The Piazza (public)

Friday 8 January – Consultation closes

Love Wimbledon supports the long term benefits of Crossrail2 and when complete it has the potential of bringing terrific opportunities and improvements to Wimbledon as a key business and transport hub. We will do everything we can to protect the key attributes of the town centre and ensure the construction impact is kept to a minimum for all town centre users and visitors. We are working with the local MP Stephen Hammond, The Future Merton team and Merton Chamber of Commerce to lobby for the best solution for Wimbledon Town Centre.

If you would like to respond to the consultation as an individual please contact TFL directly at crossrail2@tfl.gov.uk or your local MP Stephen Hammond at hammonds@parliament.uk

Christmas in Wimbledon

The season of presents, mince pies, mistletoe and magic has arrived! Enjoy Christmas in Wimbledon this winter.
With six central car parks to choose from and the best transport links, Wimbledon makes the shopping trips easy. And with our list of things in to do in the town, you’ll be sure to get your fill of Christmas Joy!

Elys ‘Christmas Party – Shopping and Fashion event’ 4 November

Wimbledon Christmas Market on The Piazza from 27 November

Wimbledon Winter Wonderland 29 November

Live Ice Sculptures and Carving in St Mark’s Place 12 December

 

Mash Media moves to Street Facing Premises

Creative Wimbledon Business ‘Mash Media’ are moving to new, street facing premises on Worple Road. The old Dreams store is due to be converted into an open plan office environment which will provide social and breakout spaces, making the most of the street scene. The new space is situated around the corner from their current location at Sterling House on St Georges Road.

The move gives more space with the total floor space of the Worple Road unit being 5,700 sq.ft, making it one of the largest, single active units in the Town Centre.

This is an exciting announcement for not only Wimbledon Town Centre but for Mash Media as it will allow for growth of their business. The change acts as evidence that the Wimbledon business community is continuing to grow and businesses want to stay in Wimbledon Town Centre. Mash Media would be the new neighbours of the current LIDL Headquarters who are also on Worple Road.

 

Merton Best Business Awards 2015

The third Merton Best Business Awards Gala took place on Thursday 24th September. A a showcase for the very best businesses in the borough, the fantastic evening saw almost 250 Merton professionals arrive at the All England Lawn Tennis Club to see who would be crowned as best businesses.

Love Wimbledon are proud to sponsor the awards which recognise the great achievements of both Merton businesses and individuals. A superb night for Wimbledon Businesses, a total of 7 BID businesses were victorious, winning their category or being awarded as a runner up. (see full list below)

Sportslabs won Best Creative Business andwere Runners Up for Best Business in Wimbledon Town Centre.

Lauristons Estate Agents won Best Team Development.

Capital Training Group were Runners Up for Best Team Development.

Eligo Recruitment won Best Enterprising Business and Best Business in SW19.

New Wimbledon Theatre were Runners Up for Best Creative Business and their apprentice Ryan Alexandrou won Apprentice of The Year.

Justin James Hotel won Best Business in Wimbledon Town Centre.

Congratulations to all finalists and winners of the 2015 Merton Best Business Awards