Wimbledon welcomes Waterstones

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Waterstones Wimbledon opened on The Broadway last week and will be celebrating the official launch of the new store on Saturday 19 November with a day of family entertainment, including face painting, storytelling sessions and regular appearances by favourite children’s character Mog the Cat.

The opening of the new Waterstones marks the end of a long search by the bookseller for suitable premises in Wimbledon. Waterstones has been keen to open a new bookshop in the town ever since its shop on Wimbledon Bridge was repossessed by the landlord for redevelopment at the start of the year.

Bookshop Manager Tuija Luoma said, “We are delighted to bring a Waterstones bookshop back to Wimbledon, it’s always been our ambition to do so and our customers have shown such strong support for our return. We are so pleased to have finally found the perfect home and we are very much looking forward to providing Wimbledon with the specialist bookshop it deserves.”

Helen Clark Bell, Love Wimbledon Chief Executive commented, “We have worked  tirelessly with Waterstones to find the right location for them so that they can return to Wimbledon Town Centre. They have been missed by the Wimbledon community and we are delighted we will have a brand new store in our town centre selling books, stationery and other useful accessories”.

Waterstones Wimbledon will offer a carefully selected range of books with a particular focus on fiction and children’s books. The store will also run an active events programme, including reading groups, author events, regular children’s storytimes and family-friendly activities.

Waterstones, 40-42 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1RQ Tel 020 3544 6720

Crossrail 2 update

Yesterday Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon, announced that Crossrail 2 have confirmed to him that they are postponing the next round of consultation (due this Autumn) to at least Q2 of 2017.

I have been in contact with Crossrail 2 and they have made the following comment:
“Both the Prime Minister and the Transport Secretary have reiterated their support for Crossrail 2‎. Their priorities are an updated business case and a robust funding plan for the scheme before we proceed with further formal public consultation [in 2017].”

We are disappointed with this delay in proceedings and are in the process of writing to Michele Dix, Managing Director of Crossrail 2 and Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London to reiterate the following:

We have been, and continue to be supporters of Crossrail 2 coming to Wimbledon. Clearly however, as a business community we need an end to the uncertainty of Crossrail 2 developments and require clarity on the impact of the phasing during build which could have a serous impact on Wimbledon Town Centre. We will also request reassurance that the plans for a new station will not be compromised and that this delay will not reflect a time shift in works and completion dates.

Wimbledon businesses, residents and visitors to the town centre need to be assured of a strong delivery plan for Crossrail 2 which minimises blight, impact of works and in the long term delivers an improved, popular and enjoyable place to do business. Love Wimbledon will continue to lobby for the best possible outcome for the town.

Ellisons takes gold and silver in property awards

Ellisons takes gold and silver in the 2016 allAgents property awards

Ellisons has been recognised as the best estate agent in South-West London and second best estate agent in London overall for customer service in the allAgents property awards!

Their ambition to provide a superior sales experience and exemplary customer service has been rewarded by the general public in the UK’s largest award scheme for estate and lettings agents. The awards reward property companies based on reviews from real house buyers, renters, tenants, and landlords, meaning Ellisons have been chosen based on feedback from their very satisfied customers!

Sean Purtill, Managing Director of Ellisons, said ‘We place customer service at the heart of everything we do at Ellisons Estate Agents. It’s one of the many qualities that makes buying, selling or letting a property with us unique. We’re thrilled that our teams have been recognised for all their hard work, and we would like to say a huge thank you to all our wonderful customers for providing such positive feedback.’

Love Wimbledon are delighted for and offer their congratulations to the BID Business Ellisons Wimbledon.

Find out more about Ellisons here.

Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District gets a YES!

The Love Wimbledon BID has received a majority YES from business voters to renew the BID for another five years.

80% of businesses voted yes for the proposals, enabling another £2.5 million of investment from businesses into the town centre over the next 5 years. Love Wimbledon received a 40% increase in votes since its last ballot when it was established in 2012.

Paul Windsor, Partner of WSM and Chair of Love Wimbledon commented ‘This is an outstanding achievement. The overwhelming support of the business community means that we are able to continue our work improving the town centre, helping to develop the strong business community and promote Wimbledon as a vibrant business hub for South West London.  Wimbledon is likely to see great change in the coming years and we will work to make sure our town stays a desirable and popular location whatever Crossrail may bring.’

Helen Clark Bell, CEO of Love Wimbledon said ‘We would like to thank the hundreds of Wimbledon based businesses for their support of the town centre and the visitors, especially residents and business employees,  who enjoy this great place and make it the vibrant and interesting town centre it is.  We will continue with the projects we have started so far that has helped make Wimbledon a popular, attractive, safe, interesting and better place.

This is one of the highest turnouts for a first term renewal ballot that a Business Improvement District has achieved, which demonstrates the commitment the shops, offices, eateries, health centres and cultural destinations have to investing in the Town Centre.’

Watch the announcement of the BID Ballot result here…

Wimbledon is a Place to Do Business

Love Wimbledon will continue its programme of investment, developing four core strategies:

Engaging events and Placemaking

Ensuring Wimbledon is an attractive, interesting and safe environment. This attracts more businesses, improves footfall and helps  make Wimbledon a happier place to be.

Leading marketing and Promotion

So everyone knows what’s on and where – it highlights the great reasons you should visit Wimbledon.

Business Services and Support

We help to reduce business costs (this works especially well for our independent shops and restaurants), provide business opportunities and improve environmental credentials.

A Brighter Future for Wimbledon

Ensuring Wimbledon continues to be a popular place to shop, eat and go out, attracting new businesses and by working to manage the impact of strategic plans like Crossrail 2.

From left to right:
Danielle Sweeney, Kevin Gallagher, Paul Harvey, Keith Alexander, Helen Clark Bell, Sally Warren, Paul Windsor, Tom Ruffell, Holly Campbell

About Love Wimbledon

Love Wimbledon was established in 2012 as a Business Improvement District. In that time we have delivered over 400 events, invested over £2.5million, saved over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 and lobbied to reduce the impact of Crossrail 2 on the town centre. It is funded by businesses and is a not for profit company serving and working to improve the area for businesses, visitors and residents.

All BID levy paying businesses are automatically company members and are encouraged to put themselves forward to sit on Love Wimbledon’s project steering groups and Board.

Love Wimbledon has a baseline agreement with Merton Council which ensures its improvements and services are over and above those provided by the Council.

About BIDs

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have now been operating across the UK for over a decade. A BID is a legal body formed under the Local Government Act 2004. There are over 220 BIDs across the UK and Love Wimbledon works closely with its BID neighbours in Kingston, Sutton, Croydon and across London.

WHSmith is back in Wimbledon!

Love Wimbledon is delighted to announce the reopening of WHSmith in Wimbledon Town Centre.

The fresh, modern store in Centre Court Shopping Centre offers all the traditional favourites customers enjoy from WHSmith, such as stationery, cards, books, creative crafts and confectionery, as well as the benefits of easy access and excellent parking facilities within Centre Court.

Kevin Hall, Stores Director for High Street at WHSmith commented, “We are genuinely delighted to back in Wimbledon. We never wanted to leave in the first place and we are looking forward to a long and successful future in our new store.”

Update on Works in Wimbledon Town Centre

On 14 September UK Power Networks began emergency works to repair a fault in the power cables running underneath the pavement along The Broadway in Wimbledon Town Centre, outside the entrances to Wimbledon Station, Centre Court and Tesco. This work was due to be completed within seven days but it is still ongoing as they unfortunately identified other issues as the works progressed due to the age of the cables. These cables supply electricity to residents and businesses in the town centre and further afield and we are hopeful this will resolve some of the ongoing electricity supply issues businesses have experienced in the town centre.

Love Wimbledon has been lobbying both Merton Council and UK Power Networks on a regular basis to understand the extent of this work, applying pressure to ensure the work is completed as a matter of urgency, with minimal disruption to the town centre whilst also requesting that the area is cleaned and returned to its original state swiftly upon completion of the works. We have now been informed the work is due to complete on 10 October. UK Power Networks has already laid some of the area with tarmac as a temporary measure until the arrival of matching replacement paving slabs, which we understand are currently on order.

We can assure you we will be requesting regular updates from UKPN until this work is completed.

The Love Wimbledon BID Ballot has Begun!

Five years ago, the businesses of Wimbledon Town Centre voted positively to become a Business Improvement District (BID). The new BID, named ‘Love Wimbledon’, saw businesses enter a 5 year term and contribute an annual investment to improve the town centre. With the first term approaching its end, Wimbledon BID businesses have now ‘gone to ballot’ to vote to secure another five years of investment into Wimbledon Town Centre.

That renewal ballot for the second term opened on Thursday 22nd September and will close on Thursday 20th October.  Only Businesses can vote. The Love Wimbledon result will be announced on 21st October at 10am.

Securing the future with long term investment

An extra half a million pounds a year is invested by businesses into the BID. This delivers increased cleaning and security, hanging baskets, bee friendly planting, popular events (Big screen tennis/ Winter Wonderland / Autumn Arts) , Christmas lights, markets and pop ups – these are the things visitors are likely to see in Wimbledon Town Centre.  But it’s also the things that visitors probably don’t see , the work on reducing crime and improving safety, lobbying utility companies, getting dead trees replaced, pursuing the station façade clean or patrolling the streets to secure the removal of graffiti and fly tipping that make a big difference. The BID provides added cleanliness and street improvements that make Wimbledon town centre a much nicer place to visit. They are also working to minimise the impact of Crossrail 2 on the town centre.

Part of Love Wimbledon’s role is to let customers and residents know what’s happening in Wimbledon. They have  printed 1 million What’s On guides, have  6,000 followers on twitter, keep the town centre website up to date which includes a full business listing, manage very active social media and they work with local arts organisations and community groups to build longevity.

Why should the BID stay?

Love Wimbledon has provided significant positive benefits for the town over the last five years. The opportunities for the events programme, the marketing and promotion of the town centre as well as a cohesive placemaking strategy enables locals and visitors to enjoy the benefits the business community investment in a BID brings. Without a BID there is no additional investment to provide these additional initiatives and enable the links between the businesses and residents of Wimbledon.

Five Year Planning 

To get the most out of this business investment, Love Wimbledon developed a five year plan in 2012, which outlined targets and key performance indicators to enable a clear strategy.  These targets have been met; in fact Love Wimbledon has exceeded many of them.  Love Wimbledon has created its plan for the next 5 years (see here).

“Since Love Wimbledon started in 2012, we have made a significant difference to the town centre, to make it more attractive and exciting for residents to visit, increasing footfall, which encourages more shops and offices to locate here. This then provides a virtuous circle and leads to improvements for everyone. I am looking forward to securing the support of the business community for another 5 year term so we can continue to support Wimbledon town centre to be a strong town centre.”  Helen Clark Bell, Chief Executive of Love Wimbledon BID

New “Hopper” fare means cheaper travel

Travelling on a bus in London will become cheaper and more convenient for millions of passengers with the introduction of the new Hopper fare from Monday 12 September

Hopper will allow passengers to change from one bus or tram to another bus or tram for free within one hour of touching in at the start of their journey. It will be automatically given to anyone who uses pay-as-you-go with Oyster or contactless payment cards. Passengers could make extended journeys across London for just £1.50 for a standard adult fare if the second journey begins within an hour.  The new fare will mean an estimated 30m bus journeys currently costing £1.50 will now become free every year.

Transport for London is also working towards delivering unlimited bus and tram transfers within one hour from 2018. In addition, from 2018 customers who travel on a tube or train between their two or more bus or tram journeys will also be eligible for the Hopper fare.

Polka Theatre plans major redevelopment of premises

Polka Theatre has exciting plans for the first major improvement to the building since 1979.

Earlier this year Arts Council England approved the first stage of Polka Theatre’s application for a grant of £2.5m towards the proposed £5.1m cost of redeveloping the premises. This is the first major investment in the building since it opened its doors on The Broadway, Wimbledon in 1979, pioneering the idea of a theatre dedicated to children – a stimulating, fully integrated venue, including performance spaces, indoor and outdoor interactive play areas, family-friendly café and activities. Since opening, Polka has attracted over 3.4m children, teachers, parents and carers from across London and the South East and its productions are staged nationally and internationally.

The planned redevelopment will be instrumental in helping Polka redefine and improve its visitor experience and provide an environment in which artistic excellence can flourish. Key features will include the creation of a National Centre for Early Years Theatre including a new auditorium for the under 6s and a multipurpose rehearsal space, as well as a new Creative Learning Studio. The plans also support Polka’s desire to increase its sustainability and financial resilience.

Polka Theatre invites any interested parties to come along to one of their drop-in sessions to learn more about this redevelopment and how it will benefit future generations of children and families.

When:
Thursday 15 September, 6pm-9pm: drop-in anytime
Saturday 17 September, 1pm-5pm: drop-in and a panel discussion at 3pm

Venue: Holy Trinity Church, 234 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1SB (next-door to Polka Theatre)

If you would like to support the redevelopment by making a donation, then please click here or contact the Development Team directly on 020 8545 8368 or via email.

Wimbledon Town Centre Celebrates a second Murray victory

Over 1,500 fans and locals packed into Wimbledon Town Centre to enjoy the Wimbledon final on Love Wimbledon’s Big Screen on The Piazza. 

Love Wimbledon’s popular Big Screen in Wimbledon Town Centre was once again the choice for hundreds as the place to watch the Wimbledon finals. The jubilant crowd celebrated Andy Murray’s win on The Piazza, with a tremendous cheer erupting on his winning point. Many people unable to get tickets for the actual event relaxed on deck chairs soaking up the Wimbledon tennis atmosphere and where better to do it than – in Wimbledon!

Helen Clark Bell, Chief Executive commented ‘We had hundreds of people sharing the finals’ atmosphere in the heart of Wimbledon Town Centre – the audience were amazing. Surrounding businesses really got involved too such as Morrisons supermarket giving out free pizzas and strawberries, Patisserie Valerie giving out smoothies and Wahaca giving out mini quesadillas and nachos. It was a wonderful occasion’.

Love Wimbledon first introduced the Big Screen to The Piazza in 2013. It brings the excitement of The Championships to town and is an opportunity for people who live, shop or work in Wimbledon to enjoy the tennis. The Big Screen was up everyday during the two weeks as well as a tennis simulator, where fans competed to hit the fastest serve.

Wimbledon Town Centre really got into the swing of tennis this year with shops going tennis ball mad with themed window decorations, Morrisons re-branding themselves as Murrisons, All Bar One becoming All Bar Wimble-One and artist Henry Day’s ‘Rebound Symmetry’ flying over The Piazza. Live music, street food and alfresco seating were enjoyed at Love Wimbledon’s pop-up in St Mark’s Place and vibrant hanging baskets and lamppost banners welcomed tennis goers to Wimbledon Town.

Big Screen Tennis    Big Screen Tennis Big Screen Tennis