Christmas Activations Begin

Love Wimbledon are hosting a range of FREE Christmas events and activations for a joyful festive season, aiming to drive footfall to the town centre and provide fun for all. We will be promoting these and the town via a strong marketing campaign consisting of digital promotion and banners around town.

The Wimbledon Gift Card: 15th November

A gift for all this Christmas. We’re launching The Wimbledon Gift Card, an exclusive card to redeem at participating Wimbledon Town Centre businesses, including independents, brands, lifestyle, shops, theatre, restaurants and more. Perfect for: the person who has everything, last minute presents, treats for your favourite teacher and employee gifts.  

Lighting Up the Town – Christmas Tree: 17th November

A perennial favourite, the Christmas Tree will appear again on the station forecourt, surrounded by the picket fence and boards jointly sponsored by Centre Court Shopping, The Piazza and Love Wimbledon. 


Wimbledon Reindeer Trail: 19th November – 1st January

Eight vibrant and colourful reindeer (plus Rudolf!) will decorate the streets of Wimbledon this Christmas. In partnership with Centre Court Shopping and The Piazza, see if you can spot them in town – with a theatrical twist!

More details and confirmed locations to come (no augmented reality this year). 

Our popular Christmas Markets are back: from 2oth November

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our festive markets, which take place annually across 5 weekends over the Christmas period. The markets provide a winter shopping and eating experience over 12 days, including two Fridays where employees can pop down during their lunches/after work.

With a wide range of largely handmade and unique products, from award-winning market stalls, shoppers can find everything from: stocking fillers, home décor, bespoke jewellery, children’s clothing and candles, to delicious street food to enjoy while you browse. Pop down to the Piazza, in front of Morrisons Wimbledon, to explore what’s on offer.

  • Sat/Sun November 20th & 21st
  • Sat/Sun November 27th & 28th
  • Sat/Sun December 4th & 5th
  • Fri/Sat/Sun December 10th, 11th & 12th
  • Fri/Sat/Sun December 17th, 18th & 19th

New Wimbledon Winter Weekender: begins 27th November

Taking place from Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th November, our new Winter Weekender will replacing our previous Winter Wonderland event, with an exciting mix of activities including:

  • Performers
  • Brass bands
  • Roller skating Christmas characters
  • Ice carving demonstrations
  • Father Christmas appearances
  • Fireworks Display (5pm on Sunday, courtesy of Centre Court Shopping).

The majority of activities will take place around the station forecourt, The Piazza and Centre Court, with an appearance of entertainment near New Wimbledon Theatre and Polka Theatre, as shows end, to enhance the experience of theatre-goers.  

More details and a schedule of events coming soon. 


We look forward to a strong festive season for the town and businesses within, with the community coming together once again and celebrating Christmas.

Future of Centre Court Shopping Centre

A neighbourhood hub for the future – Romulus plans the transformation of Wimbledon’s Centre Court Shopping Centre.

The transformation of the Centre Court Shopping Centre in Wimbledon is set to begin as owners and managers Romulus start the process of placing Centre Court back at the heart of Wimbledon’s local residents and businesses.

Following their purchase of the centre in April 2021, Romulus have committed to transforming the inward-looking, 1990s retail environment into a lively, open, space to meet friends or colleagues, shop, relax, eat & drink, work or work out.

These changes will be carried out while retaining the existing structure, ensuring that almost all existing businesses stay open and critically that the environmental damage from demolition is entirely avoided.

The process has now begun, with Romulus proposing a series of initial interventions that focus on four key areas:

  • Placemaking on Queens Road to create welcoming, green and bright places designed around pedestrians. This will include a new community entranceway.
  • A new central courtyard with a retractable roof that opens up on sunny days.
  • Improvements to the existing entrances that include a new art installation, which will brighten up the main Broadway entrance.
  • A mix of new dynamic uses to cater to the demands of local residents including new shops, gym, workspaces, restaurants, bars and more.

CGI’s of proposed Umbrella Sky and enhanced food/drink experiences with more outdoor spaces

Combined, the measures outlined will start the evolution of the Shopping Centre from a centre that is half-empty to a new dynamic hub that caters to the needs of the people of Wimbledon. In order to deliver these changes, a series of planning applications will be submitted to Merton Council over the course of this month.

Following on from these, in November, Romulus will be speaking to the local community about possible further measures that would help to continue the process of diversifying and modernising Centre Court. Have your say and detail what you think the future should look like for Centre Court.

Alex Woolf, Strategy Director at Romulus, added:

“We are excited to be proposing a number of improvements to Centre Court that will begin to enhance the experience for visitors and businesses alike. This is the start of a journey that we want to take with the local community over the coming months. We know the deep affection everyone in Wimbledon has for their town centre and realise the important role Centre Court can play in its evolution.

By opening the centre up, improving pedestrian access from all sides and attracting new uses we believe our proposals can start to make the changes people want to see. We believe that the success of Centre Court comes from placing local residents and businesses at its heart and over the coming months we will consult with Wimbledon’s residents about other measures we could take as we seek to provide the leisure and retail experience that is currently missing in Wimbledon.”

Works will begin January 2022 and are estimated for completion in Autumn 2022.

Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District Gets a YES!

Love Wimbledon has received a majority YES vote from businesses, to renew the BID for a third term from April 2022 for five years.

85% of businesses voted ‘YES’, representing 92% of the rateable value, enabling a further £2.5 million of investment from businesses into Wimbledon Town Centre over the next five years. This result gives clear confirmation and support of Love Wimbledon BID’s previous performance and delivery, and is a very strong mandate for our future based on our BID Proposal 2022-27.

“Businesses, people and places make a high street and a confident business district. Wimbledon Town Centre has a strong and positive business community who have voted for the Love Wimbledon BID placing the town in a great position for the future. We will continue to listen to the businesses, we will be responsive and transparent, we will innovate and aim to provide a sustainable future for Wimbledon Town Centre” – Helen Clark Bell, CEO of Love Wimbledon BID

Helen Clark Bell

A big thank you to our businesses, as well as the wider community of residents, visitors and users of Wimbledon Town Centre, who have also shown us great support over the last few years. Together we make our town even better.

Our ambition is for Wimbledon to be an evolving town centre where businesses thrive, people visit and communities engage. To do this, we will:

  • Create Better Places, Spaces and Experience
  • Promote and Support Business
  • Become Greener and More Sustainable

Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District was set up in 2012 and our third term will begin in April 2022.

Find out more about our Renewal Ballot here.

*BIDs are required to meet two criteria to be successful: a straight majority by the number of those voting and a majority in the rateable value of those voting.

Time & Leisure 10th Anniversary Food and Culture Awards Launch

 

Awards season is upon us! Back for the 10th year, the Time & Leisure #FoodAndCulture awards celebrate world-class food, drink and culture in South West London and Surrey,  recognising the talented and passionate people who make us our hospitality and arts industries.

Love Wimbledon is proud to be sponsoring the ‘Wimbledon Town Centre People’s Choice Award‘ and know the community will be hot on voting for their favourites.

If you’re a restaurant, café, food and drink producer, theatre and arts venue or festival, enter your business and share the voting page with your customers HERE. Each time a customer votes they have a chance to win one of several fabulous prizes, with more being added during the voting period.

Work in Wimbledon Town Centre? Vote for your favourites HERE!

Voting closes 29th November.

 

Wimbledon’s Rainbow Crossing Gets More Inclusive

In 2019, Love Wimbledon worked with Merton Council to install a Rainbow Crossing in Wimbledon Broadway, to celebrate the town’s inclusivity and welcome its first LGBTQ+ bar CMYK. After a short break, the crossing has returned with a slightly different look and a more inclusive design, featuring the ‘Progress Pride’ flag to include representation for black and trans pride.

Delivered by Merton Council, the updated crossing has been relocated to a new location 50m west of The Broadway, after improvement works that took place outside New Wimbledon Theatre to create a new public space. This is the thought to be the first rainbow crossing in London, with a more inclusive design, demonstrating Wimbledon’s progress towards being a town where all feel welcome.

Helen Clark Bell, Chief Executive of the Love Wimbledon BID, commented:

“We’re very glad to see the rainbow crossing return to Wimbledon, with a new and more inclusive design to represent the broader LGBTQ+ community. As well as creating a warm welcome to all, the crossing contributes to the growing arts and cultural scene in Wimbledon and is an absolute joy to see.”

Councillor Marsie Skeete, Cabinet Member for Women and Equalities, added:

“We’re so happy to welcome back the Wimbledon crossing – it is a wonderful symbol of Merton’s inclusivity. We’re incredibly proud of our LGBTQ+ community and have always stood up for equality – the return of this crossing demonstrates our commitment to and pride in the diversity of the borough. It is just one of the many ways that the council stands in solidarity with all those who face discrimination in Merton and beyond.”

Love Wimbledon are continually considering how to enhance the vibrancy of our town and have helped provide multiple other free art installations for the public to explore, including innovative wall murals with eco-messaging. To find out more about our work to develop a ‘Secret Wimbledon’ full of hidden gems, click here.

 

Merton Council delivered the crossing with FM Conway Contractors.

eCargo Bike Grant Fund Opens

Businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre can now apply for funding to help switch to sustainable transport, via the use of eCargo bikes, which can be used for transport, deliveries, etc.

£400,000 has been made available by the Department for Transport in 2021/22 for the purchase of eCargo bikes, to support businesses switching to a sustainable transport solution. This includes:

  • Funding for up to 40% of the total cost of an eCargo bike, up to a maximum of £2,500 for two-wheel models and £4,500 for three-wheel models.
  • Applications will be capped at five bikes per organisation. Larger applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applications may include more than one organisation. In these joint ‘high-street’ applications, a lead applicant will be responsible for submitting the application.

The application deadline is 14 December 2021. The claim deadline is 14 February 2022. eCargo bikes do not need to have been delivered for the grant to be paid.

Please refer to the Eligibility Criteria before applying.

Find out more and apply here.

Love Wimbledon’s Response to the Final Local Plan 

See below Love Wimbledon’s response to the final Local Plan consultation, which aims is to ensure that Wimbledon continues to be a thriving destination for businesses, local residents and visitors.

Although supportive of the essence of the plan on Wimbledon’s economy, jobs, development, investment and growth, we ask that more emphasis is placed on improving the Wimbledon experience in a ‘living with’ Covid-19 world for all visitors whether local or international.

We would like to see included in Wimbledon Town Centre:

  • A stronger focus on air quality and traffic improvements within the town centre, particularly for through traffic and delivery bikes
  • A clearer focus on climate action in building development, refurbishing rather than rebuilding where possible, supporting commercial retrofits and using the LETI standards with target of zero emissions for future offices/buildings
  • Support for improvement of digital inclusion
  • A strategy for the station improvements without Crossrail going ahead
  • An emphasis on supporting shops, especially independents
  • Less of a focus on conference facilities and hotels (unless independent)
  • A vision to include an arts centre in the town centre
  • A town centre which conserves its historical architectural interest whilst creating high quality developments
  • Less of an emphasis on redevelopment but organic improvements
  • Improve its experiential reputation as an internationally recognised location with spaces and places which support that
  • Clearer vision on how to manage the delivery industry in a green and sustainable way
  • Landlord charter to engage with all landlords for the future of the town – share responsibility and curation for the future of the town
  • Improve green spaces and places – include reference to the climate emergency plans
  • Make sure commercial properties and the town centre provide cycling facilities and accessible pathways for people cycling to and through the town centre, making Wimbledon a cycling-friendly town
  • A clear policy for the town centre, including its conservation areas, on shop signage and active frontages including hoardings and unoccupied shops

To find out more about the local plan for Wimbledon, click here.

Merton Best Business Awards: Applications Open

The Merton Best Business Awards have officially launched with new award categories celebrating the business heroes of the pandemic.

The 2021 Merton Best Business Awards launched yesterday at Wimbledon BookFest, as Merton’s business owners gathered to reflect on their experiences of the past 18 months.

Diana Sterck, CEO of Merton Chamber of Commerce and the organiser of the MBBAs, announced a new set of award categories that will shine a light on the organisations, teams and individuals who have survived, revived and thrived against the unique challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Newly created awards include:

  • ‘Team Spirit’: to recognise how people have pulled together to propel their business forward;
  • ‘Leader of the Year’ and ‘Star of the Year’: to recognise those who showed guidance, strength and leadership to their colleagues despite difficult circumstances
  • ‘Arts & Culture’ award: for organisations in the creative arts industry, many of which were unable to operate for many months
  • ‘Best for Innovation and Customer Focus’: for businesses that have put their customers first throughout
  • ‘Retail Award’: for independent retailers who were able to react and adapt to survive

Members of the public will have a chance to vote for their favourite hospitality business, but this year they will also be asked to nominate their Local Business Hero – a business that has gone above and beyond during the pandemic, despite the circumstances.

Love Wimbledon will be sponsoring the ‘In The Face of Adversity’ award category.

Diana Sterck, CEO of Merton Chamber of Commerce, said:

“These new award categories will demonstrate the incredible resourcefulness and resilience of Merton’s businesses in the face of unprecedented challenge. Applying for an MBBA is the ideal way to show the world just how proud you are of your company and your team, and we encourage everyone to take part so that we can celebrate together. I can’t wait to hear the stories of how Merton’s businesses have survived, revived and thrived this year.”

Applications are open now and we encourage businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre to apply here before the application deadline on 29th October.

Merton Best Business Awards Launch

Join Merton Chamber of Commerce and Merton’s business community at Wimbledon BookFest for the official launch of the 2021 Merton Best Business Awards.

Thursday 16th September, 3.30pm – 5pm on Wimbledon Common.

 

This year’s free launch event is the perfect opportunity to meet the award sponsors and past winners, network with other business owners and find out how to apply for this year’s awards.  The theme of this year’s awards is ‘Survive, Revive and Thrive’, to recognise the courage and resilience of Merton’s business community through these challenging times.

New categories will shine a light on the resilience, ingenuity and courage of Merton’s business community – with awards for entrepreneurship, team spirit, climate action and leadership in the face of adversity. Love Wimbledon will be sponsoring the ‘In the Face of Adversity Award’.

There will also be a public vote for Merton’s Business Hero and Best Hospitality Business of the Year – with a focus on how these businesses have adapted during the pandemic.

Join this afternoon of reflection, inspiration and reconnection as businesses share stories of the past year and look ahead to the future in Merton.

The event is FREE, but please register your attendance by emailing us on events@mertonchamber.co.uk

Wimbledon’s First Breathe Café Joins Lu-Ma

Local café Lu-Ma have collaborated with mental health charity, Shawmind, to open the first ‘Breathe Café’ in Wimbledon Town Centre.

The concept of a Breathe Café, was created by mental health charity Shawmind, and is a safe space where the public can go and read books in the wellbeing library, connect with a volunteer and find resources to help support them.

Mayor of Merton, Councillor Michael Brunt, attended the launch party stating:

“It is such a great idea to provide this type of help in this way and I am delighted to add my support”.

Breathe Cafés are not clinics or therapy sessions, and volunteers provide signposting and active listening support only – nothing offered by the Breathe Café replaces the advice of a mental health professional. Shawmind strongly believe that early intervention in this way, can help head off more serious mental health challenges in individuals in the future. It aims to partner with coffee shops and restaurants around the country to roll out Breathe Cafés in every community. Lu-Ma represents the first such partnership.

“When I met Maria I realised that we have an ideal partner to set up our first Breathe Café in Wimbledon. Her passion for better mental health and better physical wellbeing, through healthy eating, seemed like a natural fit with Shawmind and we are delighted to be launching the first Breathe Café at Lu-Ma.”

– James Espey, President of Shawmind

Maria Jessiman, co-owner of the family-run café added:

“We look forward to opening a space where people can feel seen, heard and valued without judgement.”

The plant-based healthy food café Lu-Ma, was born out of a desire to provide a hub in the heart of Wimbledon to help support the community’s physical and mental well-being. Mental health has always been something close to Maria and her families’ heart. This new initiative adds another dimension to the café which has previously held well-being events, meditations and courses, and looks to continue to do more in the future.

Employees in Wimbledon can access helpful mental health resources in Lu-Ma café, which is located at 43 Worple Road, Wimbledon, SW19 4JZ. Simply scan the QR code which is visible throughout the venue. To find out more click here.