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.

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.

A New Space with Eco-messages in Wimbledon

The transformation of Hartfield Walk from a bland thoroughfare to a place where you can sit, play, get educated and pick up some delicious treats, came about from the request for more seating in the town centre, a greener environment and something a bit different. Love Wimbledon instigated the reimagining of the space at a time when outside spaces are even more important to us all, and the need to experience something different has grown stronger.

Hartfield Walk will be a space for the local community to stimulate ideas and encourage a shift in mindset towards a more eco-conscious life. Every aspect of the new space has been carefully designed with sustainability as the core focus, from bee-friendly and carbon-capturing plants, to furniture and seating which has been sourced from sustainable/ethical suppliers or been reclaimed, recycled and is biodegradable. New murals and children’s floor games have also developed the environmental language – more details to come!

The project itself was developed in collaboration with Wimbledon-based creative agency Firecracker Works, a majority local team, who have a dedication to sustainability and consideration of the environmental impact of the materials they source and use. The organisation has recently become a member of Isla, a non-profit organisation focused on accelerating and transitioning the events industry towards a sustainable future, and hence offers solutions that are efficient, economical, and sustainable.

Sustainable Materials

The much-needed seating in this space, has been constructed from oak, reclaimed from The Grand Union Canal lock gates. The gates are replaced every 25 years, and in the process, they are dismantled and the metal within is recycled. It is the metal content, bars and pins that create the black and blue tannin staining which you can see present on the seating.

The construction of the kiosks, planters and seating in Hartfield Walk has also seen use of locally sourced and responsibly grown timber and Oriented Strand Board (OSB). The former derives from well-managed forests and/or verified and recycled sources, approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), whilst the latter is a material made from waste – large wood shavings that are formed together to produce a sheet material. Plus, the kiosks have been finished with shade-tolerant meadow flowers covering the roof!

Decorating with a Difference

Water-based paints were chosen, where possible, to add a pop of colour to the Harfield Walk furniture. Such paints have a significantly lower environmental impact than traditional solvent-based products, due to their low level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful chemicals carbon-containing substances that vaporize at room temperature and enter the atmosphere. Over time, these chemicals are be released into the air through a process called off-gassing.

Selecting paints that are highly durable, last longer and don’t require repeated cleaning, was also considered, to reduce maintenance cycles and limit the amount of paint used, on aspects such as the kiosks.

Eco-conscious Ambience

Outdoor festoon lighting will help to continue the ambience of Hartfield Walk into the evening. The lights are all LED, which is known to reduce waste as the bulbs rarely require replacing, and are also controlled by light sensors.

Plant Selection

The large variety of plants that can be seen throughout Hartfield Walk, include a range of climbers, bulbs, herbs, shrubs and perennials, species that are powerful in their pollinating properties and have bee-friendly flowers, as well as those which help combat pollution, such as Amelanchier and Betula. These plants can capture and temporarily hold pollutant particles, take up gaseous pollutants and absorb heavy metals from soils. 50% of the plants in Hartfield Walk are also drought tolerant, meaning that they can continue to boost local biodiversity, even in less ideal conditions.

 

Hartfield Walk will be fully open to the public in late March. Check our social media for regular updates.

Remember to Love Wimbledon, Be Local and Love Local.

 

 

Spotlight on: Creature Company

Wimbledon is home to a number of small and independent businesses which help to add a sense of character and diversity to our town centre. Lockdown has made us all pay closer attention to our local surroundings, whether it be parks and local hidden gems, or getting to know local business owners and discovering the brilliant products/services that they offer!

We are shining a spotlight on these businesses and giving you an insight into who our local business owners are, what their stories are, what makes them special and why shopping local in Wimbledon Town Centre is vital to community spirit.

And this time it’s Creature Company! The dog groomers and pet shop is run by an eclectic all-female team of local dog lovers, including General Manager Anna de Brito. We caught up with Anna to find out more…

Who are Creature Company and what do you offer?
We are an independent pet shop and dog grooming salon right in the middle of Wimbledon Broadway. Half of the business is our complete dog grooming service, from the full groom and spa treatment, to if a pup just pops in for a quick nail clip. The other side is the store, where we also sell a huge variety of products for dogs including favourite wet, dry and raw foods, popular toy brands, clothing, training and grooming. We also have a large range of products for cats, small animals, fish and both wild and domesticated birds.

How long has Creature Company been based in Wimbledon?
We opened our doors in Wimbledon in 2001 and have been here ever since. We’ve developed a great loyal customer base who regularly bring their dogs in for some grooming, pampering and TLC.

Tell us why it’s important to regularly groom your dog?
It’s important to groom your dog regularly to prevent matting, which leads to tightened skin and discomfort, and to help with de-shedding to get rid of dead hair. Much like with humans at the hairdresser, regular trims and grooming will maintain a healthy coat! When regularly grooming you will also be able to spot any blemishes, hot spots or sore patches, well before your dog is in too much pain. You should also be brushing your dog daily in between grooms, to avoid knots and matting, – this also to help them get used to the grooming experience in a comfortable environment with people they know.

Can you recommend one product from your store, that is a must-have for a dog owner?
The KONG classic is just that – a nifty rubber chew toy with a hollow centre, which you can fill with treats or KONG peanut butter to keep your pet occupied and stimulated.

Name a product that the dogs just can’t get enough of…
Lily’s Kitchen Duck & Venison Sausages – these are a favourite with all our clients, from tiny terriers to Bernese mountain dogs!

We know that you have hundreds of friendly, furry creatures coming through your doors… what’s been your funniest experience with a pooch?
Once I was looking after a dog, who was waiting to be picked up and he slipped on his harness, but every time I tried to get it back on comfortably he inched away so his legs were splayed out as he ran.

How has Creature Company been affected by Covid-19?

As I’m sure is the case for many other local businesses, the pandemic has presented huge difficulty, both for the business and our team. From staff members being furloughed and a huge decrease in customers coming through our doors, to the changing levels of restrictions, this has been a tough year. We have, however, been fortunate enough to be able to continue our grooming services through lockdown and want to thank all of our regular customers who have continued to support us. We would love to remind the people of Wimbledon that we are open and ready to treat your dog’s lockdown locks!

So #LoveLocal and visit Creature Company at 54 The Broadway in Wimbledon Town Centre (between Oddonos Gelati and VPZ).

Shopping local helps support local business and local jobs. Plus you’re shopping greener – less packaging than online purchases and less transport miles. So pop round the corner, find something new in Wimbledon, and support your local independent businesses – including the brilliant Creature Company!

 

Mother’s Day Gifts Guaranteed To Make Her Smile

Looking to make Mother’s Day extra special? Whether you’re shopping for a mother-to-be or showing your appreciation through a heart-warming gift, check out our ideas to add a loving touch to Mother’s Day this year.

Keep Her Entertained

With theatres poised to re-open in June, give a gift that’s a little different this year. Give the gift of emotion, excitement, laughter and joy, by taking the special woman in your life to a show she’ll love. Book tickets in advance for shows returning with a bang at New Wimbledon Theatre, including Heathers The Musical and Footloose.

Smelling, Looking and Feeling Good

Check out Elys Mother’s Day edit for luxury hand cream sets to resurrect dry hands, premium skincare and elegant diffusers. Order for Click & Collect by Wednesday 10th March, for safe pick-up in store on Thursday 11th March (10am – 4pm).

Newly re-opened for Click + Collect, The Fragrance Shop have a variety of perfumes and fragrance mists for all budgets!

Offer some relief to a mother suffering from acute pain, minor injuries, anxiety or depression. Health Zone Wimbledon are continuing to offer massage therapy and reflexology treatments to clients with genuine healthcare needs.

Or think sustainable and give a gift that is kind in nature and to nature, from Wimbledon’s zero waste store – from organic cotton facial pads, shampoo bars, lip balms, conjac sponges and more, from Zéro.

Add a Decorative Touch

Pick up beautiful bouquets from Wimbledon Flower Kiosk – see their wide selection of beautiful flower arrangements and order via their website, or call on 020894684444⁣. If you prefer to go hassle-free (and skip having to remember watering duties) then simply go with one of Partica’s stunning balloon bouquets instead.                                                                                  

For the Mother-To-Be

Treat a mother-to-be with maternity products or great keepsakes from JoJo Maman Bebe, like their Pregnancy Journal. Available for Click & Collect from their Wimbledon store.

Presents From The Pub 

Make sure that Mum doesn’t have to lift a finger and recreate the experience of a pub meal from home, with pre-prepared roasts from The Old Frizzle. Options include a 3-course roast dinner with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate dessert and prosecco, or a delicious melt-your-own-cheese Raclette boxes 🥂 They all come with simple instructions for you (not mum) to finish at home! Pre-order by midnight Thursday 11th March. Centre Court Shopping Centre are also offering one lucky shopper the chance to win an Ultimate Roast Box for Mother’s Day worth £75 – enter here.

Much-loved local pub The Alexandra are offering exclusive Mother’s Day vouchers from £50 – purchase one and be rewarded with two complimentary Gin & Tonic’s to enjoy when they re-open! Click here to find out more.

Given the current national lockdown due to COVID-19, we are encouraging the people of Wimbledon to continue to support the local economy. Many local stores are still open for Click & Collect, to ensure that they can still serve your needs. Rather than relying on large e-commerce sites, please consider how you could be helping your local, small or independent businesses – they need your support now more than ever to ensure that they can re-open in a stronger position. Contact them and see what they can offer you – from gift cards to local delivery and more. 

 

Hartfield Walk – A New Space to Sit, Eat and Relax in Wimbledon

An exciting new experience is coming to Wimbledon – Hartfield Walk.

Looking for a space to escape the hustle and bustle of the town, sit and read a book in the afternoon sunshine, grab a bite for lunch or meet and connect with friends and family? This exciting new space will be all of that and more.

Developed by Love Wimbledon, in collaboration with local creative business Firecracker Works, this project will transform and improve the walkway area between Blacks and Robert Dyas on The Broadway, leading to the Hartfield Road car park. Recognising the need for more seating in the town centre, Love Wimbledon applied for and secured funding from Merton Council, which has allowed the project to come to fruition, at a time where more residents are exploring their local area.

Hartfield Walk will feature an amalgamation of planting, seating, market kiosks, lighting, environmental games and art, all carefully designed to inspire local people of all ages to go greener, through references to combatting air pollution and climate change.

We sat down with two of the great minds who have helped design the project, which is coming soon to our town, to find out more.

 

Sally Warren (Strategic Marketing Adviser at Love Wimbledon)

Why did you choose this space to create an eco – messaged new space?

Currently Hartfield Walk (although it doesn’t have a name – yet!) acts more of a through-fare than a place to dwell, the space has  sparks of something exciting –  it is really central and there are a couple of good food stalls on there. We continually get feedback that Wimbledon needs spicing up a bit, and greening, and places to sit – the central location and the underutilisation of this space, provided the perfect platform to green-up and go further, new kiosks for the stalls (enviro – friendly) and enticing messaging and games to open the dialogue about sustainability.

How have you chosen who to work with on the project and what do they bring to the project?

We approached Firecracker Works as they were a local business, (in the town centre). They work with a range of clients, from fashion to FMCG, and have a real edge and creative nouse, but are also pragmatic and deliver. Our aim is to ‘buy local’ where possible, and we are really lucky to have a successful design and creative business like theirs, on our doorstep.

How do you see the space being used, now and in the future?

The project is a major collaboration, with artists, designers, Love Wimbledon, Sustainable Merton and of course, the current and future stallholders, all bringing their own refreshing elements. From creating green roofs which can flower in a shady place to designing bespoke cycle racks, the space will give a little bit of respite this spring as things start to return to normal. A big thank you to the adjoining landlords BMO, The All England Tennis Club and Merton Council who have all helped make it happen operationally.

How will it be used?

Well I for one, am looking forward to getting my first Thai meal where I can sit outside amongst plants and watch the world go by – oh and Firecracker Works have promised to meet us there (they love the coffee!). That’s what its about – a place to sit and enjoy being outside, in central Wimbledon.

 

 

Lee Cuffe (Head of Creative at Firecracker Works)

 

How did you come up with the idea of developing an eco-space with Love Wimbledon?

The creative ideas for Hartfield Walk were inspired by the High Line in New York City and adding greenery to an area where there is very little. A beautifully landscaped garden, sat on a disused railway line, in the heart of a bustling and built-up area of the city. It is an amazing place to escape to and we wanted to create a small pocket of this, for Wimbledon Town Centre. The idea to make this an eco-space came from reading an article on air pollution in the Metro. Reading this article sparked an idea of using the space to help make a difference. The two ideas seemed to work harmoniously together and so Hartfield Walk was born. Working collaboratively with Love Wimbledon we have really developed and focused these ideas into something that has a local feel, that engages the community and really tries to capture the spirit of Wimbledon.

What are you most excited about seeing being created in the space?

To see the space come to life and see the local community using and engaging with it, is what excites me. If only one person who uses the space learns something new, or it inspires them to change or action something, then we have created a space that can make a difference. It also means we have somewhere to go sit, have a coffee and enjoy our lunch!

How do you go from ideas to reality, what hurdles do you come across?

At Firecracker Works we take a methodical staged approach to design and build, working through each step to explore all outcomes, until we and our clients are happy to move on to the next. Hopefully avoiding or working through any hurdles we come across. First, we explore an idea until we have the right one, then we consider different aspects and constraints of this idea until it meets all of our and our clients’ criteria. We then use our specialist skills to visualise, create and resolve before we realise the build. This approach allows us to continually delight our clients. Our approach to this project has followed the same staged approach, with Love Wimbledon being part of every stage and decision-making process, advising, critiquing and putting forward design suggestions, all to ensure we truly capture the voice of Wimbledon.

How well do you know Wimbledon, why do you choose Wimbledon to have a business in?

Our home, ‘The Hangar’ is situated in Dundonald Yard, right in the heart of  Wimbledon. Having built a large set there in 2007, we jumped at the opportunity to become a permanent resident in 2013. The location of the Hangar and indeed Wimbledon was an attractive offer, due to its accessibility to the centre of London, as well as most major transport links. Being in Wimbledon is also a very comfortable location for our clients to come and visit. The fact that we are able to call a WW1 Aircraft Hangar, with so much history behind it, our home, lives into our ethos of being considerate of our environment. We cherish the opportunity to be a part of such an historic and iconic building here in the heart of Wimbledon and are happy to share its story with the local community.

What other things do you work on?

Our original line of work was for the private and corporate events industry, creating and building temporary structures. It is our reputation for the standard and quality of our work, which has led us onto a wide and varied scope or projects such as this one. It can be anything from: the recent reindeer installation with Love Wimbledon, to a sculpture or an art installation, a fashion shoot or a high end and bespoke piece of furniture, a pop-up engagement or the fit out of a permanent experiential restaurant. If it’s thrilling and it seems impossible, then it’s right up our street.

Have you done anything like this before?

This is the first opportunity we, as a business, and I, personally, have had to work on an exciting project like this. When we were approached by Love Wimbledon, we jumped at the chance to give something back. There are so many similarities between this and how we approach any project we do. We have a real dedication to sustainability and have recently become a member of Isla, a non-profit organisation focused on a sustainable future for events. With this in mind, we try as much as possible to have a minimal impact on the environment and we always consider the impact of the materials we source and use. It is really nice to have a project that is solely focused on this message.

 

Stay tuned for more details about this project, coming soon!

 

#LoveLocal This Valentine’s Day

Cafe Mori Cupcakes

Roses are red, violets are blue, Wimbledon has everything you need to make a perfect night for two.

With the current lockdown, there are still plenty of ways to put a homely spin on typical Valentine’s Day celebrations. Whether you’re hoping to impress your partner, treat a friend or relative, or indulge in some self-love, Wimbledon businesses have developed great menu’s, products and ideas to make this Sunday 14th February, a night to remember.

For a truly memorable date night to look forward to, pick a performance that’s sure to wow. Surprise your loved one with tickets to a brilliant future show at New Wimbledon Theatre or enjoy a live stream of the world’s most famous love story, Romeo & Juliet.

Floral treats are always a winner – enjoy deliciously sweet and fluffy floral cupcakes from local Japanese café, Café Mori, or pick up a beautiful fresh-smelling bouquet from Wimbledon Flower Kiosk (located outside Wimbledon Station).

Wimbledon pub The Old Frizzle is offering two Valentine’s cook-at-home for you and one special other. These include a mouth-wateringly gooey Raclette box, where you can melt your cheese on your very own grill! Everything comes prepared for you, so all you need to do is pop a few things in the oven, light the candle under the burner and watch the cheese bubble away as you celebrate at home with your special someone. Or opt for a Swingers Roast Box, which includes with pork, chicken and beef, with all the usual trimmings. Simply pre-order in advance for delivery.

Whether you’re looking for gifts for a loved one, a best friend or yourself, Elys has a great range of heart-warming Valentine’s Day gifts, including champagne truffles, luxury perfumes and great-smelling candle sets. Plus find out how to create a loving dining-out experience at home and top tasty Valentine’s treats, from Elys Food Tastemaker Sisley White such as Bitesize Strawberry Chocolate Tarts.

Or create the perfect intimate setting with massage and essential oils, vegan sweets and herbal face masks from Health Zone Wimbledon. Add the finishing touches with a custom-made Valentine’s balloon bouquet from Partica.

Remember this Valentine’s Day is also #LoveLocalDay, so whatever you’re buying – think local and support our independent, small businesses in our town. See what shops are open here, and for the full list of restaurants and cafes offering takeaway and delivery click here.

Find Your Next Job in Wimbledon

Wimbledon Town Centre has a strong business community. With a diverse industry base of big brands, sector experts, creatives and independents and extensive transportation links, Wimbledon is an attractive hub for local employment. Our mix of businesses range from award-winning PR & Communication Agencies to FinTech industry leaders, charities and other established HQs, big high street brands and lots more. Several of our businesses are currently recruiting for a variety of positions.

Polka Theatre

Join the UK’s leading children’s theatre – right in the heart of Wimbledon! Polka was the first venue in the UK to be created exclusively for young audiences in 1979. They are a small team and the work they do crosses over between each department in the organisation. In 2019, the theatre began a major redevelopment of the 40 year old venue, which will be completed in spring 2021. Now, more than ever, they are taking this opportunity to redevelop and reimagine Polka for future generations. They are delighted to be recruiting several roles to help them return from Covid-19, stronger than ever. This truly is an exciting time to join Polka as they try out new things in their new venue!

  • Sales & Ticketing Manager
    Deadline: 9am on Wednesday 24th February 2021
  • Marketing Manager
    Deadline: 9am on Wednesday 24th February 2021
  • Kickstart Placements for 18-24 year olds who are on Universal Credit
    Include Sales and Merchandising Representative, Development Assistant, Digital Assistant, Opening Prog. Assistant, Operations Assistant and more.

Banana Moon

If you are in a childcare environment already and are looking for a new challenge or a change of scenery, Banana Moon Day Nursery may be the place for you. Banana Moon Wimbledon is a place that children can feel confident to express themselves, develop their personality make friends and learn to be independent and happy. They have a qualified and experienced team, that makes the nursery a great place to be.
They provide constant training and updates to the team to support them to be the best as they possibly can. Both part-time and full-time positions are available, and applicants with level 2/3 qualification in childcare will be considered, as well as those who are looking to gain a qualification in childcare.

  • Nursery Nurse (x2)
    To apply or to find out more, email info@bananamoon-wimbledon.co.uk or call 02085407592.

Domestic & General 

Domestic & General are the UK’s leading appliance care provider and have been in business for over 100 years, with a proud history of looking after people and their products when things go wrong. That could mean anything from making laundry happen again for one customer to getting the central heating back on for another. They are looking for people who lead themselves with energy and commitment and who always strive to do their best. In return, they want to give you every opportunity to make your career a successful one, whatever your goals are. Check out their newly updated careers website to see the full range of positions currently available. These include:

  • Digital Product Owner
  • TMO Resourcing Analyst
  • TMO Assurance Analyst
  • Service Desk Analyst
  • Senior Information & Security Operations Specialist
  • Digital Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Commercial Finance Analyst
  • International Communications Specialist
  • Digital/UX Copywriter

Zéro Waste Shop

As Wimbledon first zero-waste shop, Zéro  want to make it easy for everyone to embark on the zero waste journey. Their shop offers a very simple alternative to other, less environmentally-aware retail stores and gives consumers the possibility to obtain the same products with which they are already familiar but without unnecessary packaging. All products are sold in bulk or without disposable packaging and, where possible, come from organic or fair-trade farming and from local producers. They are currently looking for a shop assistant to join their hardworking and dynamic team in Centre Court Shopping Centre in Wimbledon.

  • Part-Time Shop Assistant

 

With over half of the borough’s jobs in the town centre, Wimbledon is the economic heart of the area, with a good underlying economy and excellent transport links. If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, Wimbledon could be the place for you. #WorkLocal #LoveLocal

 

Wimbledon Guild Continues Community Support Through Covid

Local charity Wimbledon Guild is continuing to support the community through the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns by moving existing services online and introducing new Covid-safe services.

Wimbledon Guild is a local charity that provides people in Merton with help and support in times of need. Under normal circumstances the charity operates from its base at Guild House on Worple Road, Wimbledon. It aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness, help people who are experiencing difficulties and enable older people to be active and healthy.

For many of their services, making sure that they are COVID-safe has meant moving online using platforms such as Zoom. Other services, such as befriending, have moved to garden gate visits or telephone calls, and the HomeFood Café is now delivering delicious and nutritious meals to people’s doors.

Wimbledon Guild’s Communications Manager, Phil McPherson added:

Wimbledon Guild is more than just a building; it is a community. And though our door on Worple Road is closed for now this does not change the support we’re able to offer. Please let any family, friends or colleagues know they can contact Wimbledon Guild for help.

Here are some of the different ways in which Wimbledon Guild can help you:

  • Wellbeing Support: practical and emotional support to help you, or a loved one, live an independent life for as long as possible.
  • Online Activities: free online clubs, classes and talks for people aged 50+ are a great way to socialise and stay healthy.
  • Talking Therapies: at a time where it’s never been more important for us to look after our mental health and wellbeing, this service provides affordable counselling and support groups online and in person.
  • Befriending Service: weekly phone calls or social visits for people who are isolated or unable to leave the house. Befrienders and clients are matched based on shared interests, and many go on to develop genuine, long-lasting friendships.
  • Financial Assistance: eligible Merton residents struggling as a result of COVID-19, can receive help to pay for items such as food, warm clothing, utility bills, essential furniture and household appliances.
  • Grief Support: available to adult residents in Merton, or patients registered with a Merton GP, and provides free confidential advice and practical support.
  • Meal Delivery Service: with the charity’s HomeFood Café currently closed, you can now get nutritious meals to reheat at home, that cost £3.70 (including delivery) and are freshly cooked and then frozen.

To find out more, contact Wimbledon Guild on 0208 946 0735 or email info@wimbledonguild.co.uk.