Love Wimbledon’s response to the Crossrail 2 consultation

Love Wimbledon’s formal response to Crossrail 2 consultation is shared below:

7th January 2016

Dear Crossrail 2

Love Wimbledon is the Business Improvement District for the town centre and we represent 430 businesses and over 15,000 employees and growing. With over 60% of Merton’s employment in Wimbledon Town Centre, it is a crucial commercial and economic centre not only for the borough but for the wider area.

Love Wimbledon BID support Crossrail 2 coming to Wimbledon but it must not be delivered at the expense of the economic wellbeing of the town. Wimbledon already has excellent transport links which provide the means of us attracting skilled employees from much of London. There is pent up demand for commercial space in Wimbledon with many existing businesses looking to expand and many others outside the area currently looking at locating here if a suitable site becomes available.

If residential growth is achieved in London, urban town centres will have an important role in providing the employment, opportunities and things to do including shopping and going out that reflects a growing city.

Wimbledon town centre must retain its vibrancy and congenial environment, and stay well and truly open and accessible during construction. Disruption must be minimised so that it continues to be a place of choice to own or run a business and it continues to remain an attractive option for employees, residents and visitors.

Please consider the following in your proposal for Wimbledon Town Centre:
Revisit Tunnelling Proposals

Currently there is only one option proposed. At the next consultation we would request the inclusion of an alternative tunnelling option to be included for non-stopping Waterloo fast trains below Wimbledon station.
In the planning process

  • Clear communication and detailed consultation with all businesses and stakeholders of the town
  • An understanding that Wimbledon is a busy and functioning town centre which is clearly reflected within the proposals
  • Awareness of the potential for blight caused by uncertainty of plans
  • Early resolution of the current overcrowding issues at Wimbledon Station
  • Provide detailed phasing plans of all work allowing for relocation of businesses within the town
  • Full impact assessments undertaken and shared (including economic, transport and environmental)

During construction

  • Minimise the impact of the construction on Wimbledon shops, businesses and cultural spots so Wimbledon remains working and is well and truly open for business
  • Be sensitive to the town centre’s functionality when planning for various stages of construction
  • Provide minimal disruption to our current transport services taking into account the impact of road, pedestrian and cycle provision as well as public transport
  • Work closely with Love Wimbledon and Wimbledon businesses to listen and respond to the business’ voice, recognising Wimbledon town centre as an invaluable Central Business Zone

Vision for the future

  • Focus on commercial space redevelopment – not housing
  • Make plans for an enhanced food / retail offer and high quality office space
  • Require all construction materials and finishes are of the highest quality and design both for public realm and new buildings
  • Make over station and line development part of your plans
  • Give our town centre a public square and improved urban spaces with strong ‘green’ features
  • Protect listed buildings and buildings of architectural significance / heritage
  • Provide sympathetic and sustainable designs with a maximum build height

Wimbledon Town Centre is the heart of SW19 with an internationally recognised name and postcode. We would urge you to ensure we retain this before and during construction and in 2030 have an internationally recognised town centre with an experience to match.

We look forward to working with you in developing the best proposals for Wimbledon.

Yours faithfully

Helen Clark Bell
BID Manager

Wimbledon Celebrates all time high Shop Occupancy Rates

Wimbledon Celebrates all time high Shop Occupancy Rates

Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District announced figures today that Wimbledon Town Centre has some of the lowest shop vacancy rates in the country. Currently running at 1.77 % against a national average of around 9.1% and a London average of 6.5%.  This means there are 277 trading shops and restaurants in Wimbledon.

In 2015 over 15 street facing businesses moved into the town include Franco Manca, & Pasta, Flavous, Paverly Bridal, Mobalpa Kitchens, Carluccio’s Pop Up, Help for Heroes, Five Guys, Firezza, Dip ‘n’ Flip, Bliss Coffee and Chickadee.

Intersport and Trespass are also due to open in the coming weeks and Dreams has recently reopened opposite Sainsbury’s on Worple Road.

Helen Clark Bell, BID Manager was delighted with the news:

‘Wimbledon is a great place to open a shop or restaurant – what is also very exciting is how many independent shops we are attracting as a town. Our research shows that customers impressions of the town centre are improving and the range of events and activities that are put on by Love Wimbledon get the thumbs up.’

‘The figures are testimony to the  improvements  that have happened in the town and are representative of the incredibly  strong business community in Wimbledon and the great customers we get in town. We are well and truly open for business and are really proud of our town’s success.’

Around 50% of the new businesses are independents, which reflects the variety and point of difference the town is experiencing. The run up to Christmas has shown that retailers like Carluccio’s are attracted to the town. The cultural hotspots including the HMV Curzon, The Odeon, New Wimbledon Theatre and Polka children’s theatre are part of what attracts many restaurants and cafes to the area. The increase in office workers has also been a major attraction for shops and cafes in the area.

A chance to win an authentic poppy from the Tower of London installation

Win a poppy from the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London. The poppy is an original cermaic flower created by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper with it’s authenticity certificate. Kindly donated by Co-Op Funeral, Totting Branch to raise funds for the Wimbledon Guild. The draw takes place on 16/12/2015.

Tickets are just £1. Get your raffle tickets at:

Wimbledon Guild reception , T 020 8946 0735 or email the Wimbledon Guild here

Centre Court Shopping Centre on 12th November, 9am – 8pm

Christmas in the Village Shopping Day (outside Dog & Fox) on 5th December

Wimbledon Guild Carol Service on 10th December, St. Marks Church 6:30 – 8pm

Love Wimbledon takes on Town Centre Graffiti

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

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

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

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

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

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Before: Tuition House Wall on Railway Path before cleaning

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

Christmas in Wimbledon

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

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

Wimbledon Christmas Market on The Piazza from 27 November

Wimbledon Winter Wonderland 29 November

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

 

New Government Plastic Bag Legislation

From the 5th October, larger retailers must charge at least 5p for new single use carrier bags. Please remember to take a re-useable bag with you to avoid getting caught out.

It is hoped the levy will cut the 7.6bn bags given to shoppers at major supermarkets every year, and retailers are expected to spend the money raised from the charge on good causes.

England is the last part of the UK to start charging for plastic bags. The number of plastic bags given out by seven major supermarkets in England rose by 200 million in 2014 to exceed 7.6 billion – the equivalent of 140 per person and amounting to 61,000 tonnes in total.

Merton Best Business Awards 2015

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

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

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

Lauristons Estate Agents won Best Team Development.

Capital Training Group were Runners Up for Best Team Development.

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

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

Justin James Hotel won Best Business in Wimbledon Town Centre.

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

 

 

New Wimbledon Theatre Open House Event

New Wimbledon Theatre (NWT) were thrilled to open their doors to the general public, as part of London’s Open House 2015. The scheme involved a variety of the capital’s splendid buildings opening their doors for one weekend only on the 19th and 20th September.

NWT held a range of fantastic activities for every generation. It is often impossible to give people the opportunity to see all facets of the beautiful 104 year old venue and this wonderful opportunity gave patrons the chance to explore the venue at every level. Backstage Tours gave an insight into the building’s architecture, history and sustainability plans as well as Ghost Walks in the evening for thrill seekers and also a History Exhibition for the history buffs in the studio space.

To celebrate this year’s pantomime, Peter Pan, there was also the opportunity to have flying lessons on stage with trained practitioners. Families attended a pantomime workshop and explored old panto costumes, programmes and enjoyed a talk with panto expert Malcom Jones! And children had great fun immersing themselves into the Pirate Treasure Hunt in the fun at the Arts and Crafts workshop.

Calum Kemp, NWT’s General Manager had the following to say on the event; “We are really thrilled to have taken part in this year’s London Open House. It was a terrific event which included young competition winners having a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly like Peter Pan on our stage to large groups of visitors taking part in tours around the building and lots of other activities. I am extremely proud of the NWT team for putting together such a fantastic event and I hope we continue to take part in London Open House in future years”.

 

Wimbledon Winners at Food & Drink Awards

Wimbledon came out tops at the Time & Leisure Food and Drink Awards. Winners were announced on 7 September. A big well done to Suburban Bar, who was commended in the Best Cocktail Venue category.

The Alexandra Pub was commended in the highly competitive Best Pub Category. In the Best Eating Experience in Wimbledon Town Centre category, Hot Pink Grill, KusoBrazil and Wahaca were all commended. Khanage was granted the highly commended award and Sticks & Sushi came out as winners. Contenders certainly showcased the great food and drink offer in the town centre. Congratulations to all!

Tennis Fever hits the town centre!

What a two weeks, and we want to say thank you to all the shops and offices that really made an effort to show off their tennis displays, we have never seen so many tennis balls in Wimbledon during the fortnight. The screen was as popular as ever and even BBC breakfast brought their iconic red sofa along to interview  lots of lovely Wimbledonians from our Big Screen.

We trialled our first pop up in St Marks Place, removing the bins, pruning the trees and cleaning it up. We hosted live music and a Burger Shack alongside the other traders and with the mixture of sunshine and music we had a buzzy couple of weeks. Thank you to The Alex and the surrounding businesses for your support of this successful event.

A big thanks also to The All England Lawn Tennis Club for providing the wonderful hanging and railing baskets.

The town felt very different this year as everyone really got involved in celebrating the tennis – we look forward to planning more celebrations to continue to bring the tennis to Wimbledon.

See more pictures of businesses getting into the tennis swing here!

 

All Bar One Racquet and Ball land