The Future of Wimbledon is Here!

Giant Slides, Zip Wires, Command Powered Scooters and a Multi-faith Portable Mobile Worship House – the essential winning ideas announced for ‘Future Wimbledonians’ children’s Ideas competition

Love Wimbledon surprised the two winners of the Future Wimbledonians Ideas competition by announcing their wins in their school assemblies. The extraordinary ideas and creativity that the winners demonstrated bowled over the judges, many who are professionals in architecture and the built environment.

The competition, sponsored by Lauristons, was an ideas competition that put the future of Wimbledon Town Centre into the hands of our younger generation. Molly McEvoy from The Priory C of E School won Wahaca vouchers and Julia Rehn from Holy Trinity won Chimichanga vouchers. Both were joint winners, winning £500 each for their schools.

Nearly 150 entries were received from around the borough with dynamic, fun and enticing ideas. The seven expert judges were Marcus Beale from The Civic Forum, Asif Malik from The Wimbledon Society, Gary Elliott from Elliott Wood Engineers, Leigh Terrafranca Planning officer for WEHRA, Dickie Wilkinson designer, Paul McGarry Head of Future Merton and Sarah Hopgood from Lauristons Estate Agents.

Pupils in Merton were given the opportunity to voice their ideas and aspirations for the future of Wimbledon Town Centre. ‘How might you travel to Wimbledon, what sort of buildings, businesses or jobs would you like to see in the town centre?’ were questions posed in the new schools competition launched by Love Wimbledon, the Wimbledon Business Improvement District, and Future Merton, Merton Council’s regeneration team.

The competition aimed to get children in Merton to inspire the Future Wimbledon debate, about how Wimbledon Town centre could evolve and prosper over the next fifteen years and beyond.

Helen Clark Bell, Love Wimbledon’s BID manager commented ‘We had an outstanding standard of entries, especially from primary schools across Merton. From bins that come to you to pick up your waste, some magnificent slides and water chutes and lots more greenery. We hope to use some of the ideas in the future when we get ready for Cross Rail 2.’

The winning ideas will be part of an exhibition in Wimbledon town centre outside Morrisons later on this month, alongside those submitted in the Future Wimbledon competition  by professional architects and designers.

See all runners up and winners entries here 


Julia Rehn from Holy Trinity picks up her prize form Wimbledon BID Manager Helen Clark Bell

Julia Rehn’s Winning Entry with slides, zip cars on wires, jet packs and lots more

Molly McEvoys Winning Entry with mobile multi-faith worship house, ‘shape street’, command powered scooters and a green park

The judging panel

The judges commented:

Asif Malik, Chair, the Wimbledon Society

‘I was greatly impressed by the variety and breadth of ideas that in our minds would not occur. It’s good to see the fresh thinking coming out and the bubbling of ideas.’

Gary Elliot, Partner, Elliott Wood

‘It is great to see that children of all ages have mastered the key issues within Wimbledon. They have picked up on sustainability and they have picked up on fun, but the idea of having water within the centre of Wimbledon is clearly a message that came through all of these entries.

Paul McGarry, Future Merton

‘I think it is really interesting to see a child’s perspective of the environment in the town centre and how some of the ideas reflected those that came out of the main competition. The overall message is that it is a good place – so lets have some fun with it.’

Marcus Beale, Director, Marcus Beale Architects

‘I think it reminds us that all places are potentially playable spaces and can all be a kind of place where your imagination can transform it. I think it is very interesting to see those entries that actually evoke a sense of place or something that actually feels different from what we’ve got. If some of this talent we have seen here gets properly nurtured we will be OK for architecture in fifteen, twenty years.‘

Dickie Wilkinson, Designer 

‘Some really fun ideas which I think, if they come true, would make Wimbledon a fabulous place to be.’

Sarah Hopgood, Marketing Manager, Lauristons

‘Highly impressed by the standard of the entries. Really creative, colourful ideas and it is nice also to see the concerns that affect the local young people. I think we are in safe hands!’

Leigh Terrafranca, Planning Officer for WEHRA (Wimbledon East Hillside Residents Association) and Winner of Creative Community Award for Future Wimbledon

‘Fascinating view from across the entries. The awareness and the importance placed on transport particularly the buses and toilets were interesting. Also the Polka children’s theatre where arts and drama are the beginnings of culture for these people –  I think it has proved to me the cultural importance in our town. The other consistent theme is the lack of water, the dryness of the town centre for the kids who are desperate for waterslides, pools, ice skating which are seasonal things.’


Sainsbury’s announces sales of Wimbledon School cook book

Bishop Gilpin primary school in Wimbledon has published a school cook book which celebrates a wonderful collection of family recipes from around the world. Not only has the book been a huge hit amongst the BG school community with sales boosting PTA fundraising, but it has also caught the eye of supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.

Currently on sale in five Sainsbury’s stores across Merton, the cook book, with its hardback cover, stitched binding, beautiful illustrations and professional photography, doesn’t look out of place sitting next to the latest Jamie Oliver offering. “We didn’t want to produce a book which would just get shoved to the back of the cupboard and not get used,” explained Editor Mel Barrett. “We wanted to make it a really practical resource, which meant providing pictures where possible to illustrate the recipes. We are blessed to have a few parents at the school who are professional photographers, and also a brilliant graphic designer, Basia Pacześna-Vercueil, who created the stunning visuals. Thankfully they were happy to give up their time for free.” The team also invited parents to take snaps and send them in with their recipes, incentivising them with prizes for the best photos.

Over 150 recipes came flooding in and 50 families took accompanying photos, many of which feature in the book. To avoid duplicates,the team decided to structure the book around the three terms of the school year, and asked for recipes to be submitted across different categories.  “As busy families, we all face similar cooking challenges”, said Barrett. “At certain times of the year, for example the Christmas party season, we have crowds to feed; in the colder months we gravitate towards warming dishes; later in the year we want ideas for picnics and children’s lunch boxes. And there are plenty of moments, such as the dreaded school cake sale, when we need to grapple with a cake tin and electric whisk. We thought it made sense to pool our expertise, and being a London school – our families come from over 35 different countries; 27% of our pupils do not have English as their first language – we were privileged to be able to cast our net around the world for inspiration.”

The involvement of the wider business community was key to the success of the project.  Prizes for the photography competition were donated by Wimbledon Maplins and Riverford Organics; display materials by art shop Fielders. Communication to the school was made much more effective with glossy materials provided free of charge by local corporate printing firm, Purbrooks, and London printers F.E. Burman. Hamptons in Wimbledon Village let the team use their office printer to churn out proofreading copies. And when some help was needed with boosting sales, in stepped Sainsbury’s. Denis Young, the Store Manager at Sainsbury’s, Wimbledon, said: “We were impressed by how attractively designed and professionally produced this cook book is and were delighted to be involved with the project. I’m sure it will provide a springboard for further co-operation with Bishop Gilpin, particularly in the area of food education and nutrition.”

Head teacher Matt Ball commented: “The book is testament to what can be achieved when the wider community works together. We are extremely grateful to all the contributors and to Sainsbury’s in particular. We look forward to exploring other ways of working together, for example raising awareness of healthy eating and exercise amongst our children through their inspiring Active Kids Campaign.”

Get yours from Sainsbury Wimbledon on Worple Road now!

Pink Trees and Flying Animals take over Wimbledon

On a stroll through Wimbledon, bright and colourful out-of-the-ordinary objects make take you by surprise. To mark the arrival of Love Wimbledon’s Autumn Arts festival, Flying animals have been hung around town and the tree on the station forecourt has been painted a striking pink (and other colours).

We commissioned Wimbledon College of Art student Naomi Bown to paint a deceased  tree (to be replaced in November in planting season) on Wimbledon Station forecourt to add some colour to the area but also mark the beginning of an exciting month in Wimbledon Town Centre.

Naomi Jane Bown is a London based artist specialising in brightly coloured prints, patterns and intricate illustrations. Naomi recently graduated from Wimbledon College of Art where she specialised in painting. Her work explores the interplay between bold, bright colours, shapes and lines to form playful objects and patterns. Naomi is inspired by the natural world, childlike faith, joy, play and contemporary art. Visit Naomi’s website here.

Autumn Arts festival is taking place over three weekends in September, on the 13th & 14th, 20th & 21st, and 27th & 28th. In partnerships with Merton Arts Trail and Wimbledon Bookfest, it celebrates the great arts culture that Wimbledon Town Centre has to offer.

A variety of fun arty activities, entertainment and demonstrations have been planned for the three weekends in September, taking place on The Piazza outside Morrisons and, the ArtShed is back hosting local artists and organisations. Local businesses have also got involved in the fun with Centre Court Shopping Centre, Fielders Art Shop, the library, Odeon cinema and Wimbledon Library to name a few, housing art or flying animals.

Other Wimbledon businesses have also participated and are displaying local artists work including Lidl headquarters, The Old Frizzle, All Bar One and YMCA.

Parking Consultation for The Broadway

Merton Council are currently undertaking a consultation on the introduction of a 20 minute free parking zone along part of The Broadway. We have been campaigning for this for many months and are delighted to see the possibility of this. Please respond to this consultation before the closing date of 4th September. For full details can be found here
For information this will serve around 9 businesses. We will be campaigning for this to be extended further along The Broadway and some of the bays off Wimbledon Hill Road to support more of our local, independent businesses.

A Judge’s view of Wimbledon

My kind of Wimbledon would be……..

Wimbledon is synonymous with tennis, strawberries and The Common…but if you lived or worked there, what would be your kind of Wimbledon? Architects, designers, planners and visionaries are being asked for their ideas on how a future Wimbledon town centre could evolve and prosper as part of a competition organised by Merton Council and Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District, and supported by the Design Council.

Paul Finch OBE, programme director of the World Architecture Festival and deputy chair of the Design Council, is one of the architecture and design A-list judges who will be reviewing the ideas presented, alongside Wayne Hemmingway, Peter Murray, Alison Brooks and Morag Myerscough. He says the judges are looking for ideas which will ‘change the idea’ of what a town centre is for – beyond being a place to shop or enjoy amenities. How can centres become places which will meet the needs of future generations?

“It’s a question of identity and use,  which affects not just Wimbledon but town centres across the country,” he says. “We need to decide what they could really be.  So instead of worrying about the challenges facing our high streets, we should see opportunities to re-invent our town centres for who lives or works nearby, or who visits. “The impact of digital has redefined the idea of what communities are, and the whole idea of public and private space has been turned on its head. Younger people don’t interact with a town centre in way our parents and grandparents did – at markets, shops, cafes and community centres.

We need to find a town centre model which works for them too. “So the competition is a good way to start thinking about this – and specifically about what Wimbledon town centre might change and improve. These days a new visitor to a town can use apps and augmented reality to become as knowledgeable as a local about the place’s heritage, culture and good places to eat. But there remands an enormous interest, especially among the young, for opportunities to take part in events with lots of other people – whether it is watching sport or concerts on big screens, or taking part in public debates. “Maybe our town centres will become busier places for human interaction – something that has happened in cities since the Greeks and Romans.

The good news is that can be protected from the weather much more easily than in the past, and can take advantage of digital communication to expand the range of what is possible. And Paul urges all sorts of people with ideas – not just architects, designers or planners – to put their creative foot forward. “This competition is not just about everyday architecture or planning, but about ideas – we want people to exercise their creative juices thinking about how people live and what is special about Wimbledon which can deliver the lifestyle they require.” The competition is organised by Merton Council and Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District. Anyone who wants to take part can submit their ideas in whichever format they prefer. Poems, songs and abstract sketches are just as welcome as scale plans or 3D animations.

Shortlisted entries will be showcased on the Future Wimbledon website as well as at a New London Architecture exhibition, and cash prizes of up to £3,000 are on offer. Full details and a brief are available at:

Love Wimbledon in the news

Love Wimbledon is featured in July’s edition of Shopping Magazine, the UK’s only dedicated magazine for shopping centre managers, developers, owners and occupiers, as Suzy Wood, Director of Centre Court Shopping Centre discusses the importance of working in partnership. The full article highlights the importance of Business Improvement Districts working closely with shopping centres and the added value this relationship can bring to both parties.

Wimbledon’s Finalists in Merton’s Best Business Awards

We are delighted that the following Wimbledon businesses have been announced as finalists in the Merton Best Business Awards. We look forward to celebrating with you on 3rd October 2014 at The All England Lawn Tennis Club

Brinkleys Estate Agents

Capital Training Group

Citrus Gifts

Data Liberation

Gina Conway Aveda Salons

Holistic Fitness

Justin James Hotel

Mash Media

New Wimbledon Theatre

Tots Landing

Lights Out – 4th August 10pm – 11pm

Everyone in the UK is invited to take part in LIGHTS OUT by turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August, leaving on a single light or candle for a shared moment of reflection.

People can take part in whatever way they choose, marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War either individually or by attending one of the many events being organised around the country for a collective experience.


Many of the Capital’s landmarks will be switching off their lights and leaving just one light lit in a window.

For more information or to get involved visit

Wimbledon town centre ideas competition launches

Enter this inspiring competition

Merton Council and Love Wimbledon have launched  an ideas competition in collaboration with the Design Council and NLA (New London Architecture)  to ignite debate about how Wimbledon town centre could evolve and prosper over the next 15 years.

A-listers in the design and architectural world, including Alison Brooks, Wayne Hemmingway, Paul Finch and Morag Myerscough will be judging the entries this autumn.

Who can enter?

We want to hear ideas from community groups, residents young and old, built environment specialists and businesses in the borough. There are two categories Rising Stars and Creative communities both with £2,000 prize money.

What’s the brief?

What could Wimbledon town centre look like, what amenities it should have and what type of buildings and public spaces could be developed in the future. You can go to for more details.

The council is encouraging people who wish to take part in the competition to submit their ideas in whichever format they prefer. Poems, songs and abstract sketches are just as welcome as scale plans or 3D animations.

What about the local community?

For Future Wimbledonians a schools competition is also planned for later in the year. (Details to be announced soon)

Key Dates:

Entry deadline 15 September 5pm

Judging w/c 22 September

Winners announced at Design Talk, part of Wimbledon Bookfest , October 8th

Shortlisted entries will be showcased:

On the futureWimbledon website in October

At the Building Centre, Store Street in London from October 9 – Nov 7

In Wimbledon Town Centre (dates TBC)

All the information about the competition and judging criteria can be found on the Future Wimbledon website.

Or contact



Wimbledon Happy Video joins Global Trend

Tennis Fever makes Wimbledon get HAPPY


Wimbledon is the latest destination to join the global trend, creating their own version of Pharrell Williams Happy video. 


Local students on behalf of Love Wimbledon have captured the sentiments of the two weeks of Tennis  with over 26 businesses  and nearly 100 people participating  in Wimbledon Town Centres  version of Pharrell Williams: Happy.


After two weeks of unforgettable tennis; where shoppers, office and retail staff as well as local residents, sat captivated on The Piazza in all weathers at Wimbledon Big  Screen Tennis, this and the best  movers  from  the Town Centre  have made the Wimbledon version of Happy.


The stars of the show, who dance along to the music of Happy,  include local Vicar Revd.  Andrew Wakefield supported by his dog Mr Darcy dancing down the aisle, the South West trains team working on the façade clean of the station, a guinea pig ‘getting down to the beat’  from local pet shop Creature Company,  staff and friends at Centre Court’s Partica shop hiding behind Shrek masks,  bar tenders from Suburban putting Tom Cruises’ character in Cocktail into the shadows by shaking not stirring and The Priory School, Wimbledon year 4 pupils  getting into the beat.


Helen Clark Bell, Love Wimbledon BID Manager enthused ‘The video shows so much that is great about Wimbledon, the people and the place. We hope you have as much fun and enjoyment watching it as those who took part in making it. ‘


To watch the video go to