CEO Update – The Year Ahead For Wimbledon

We are coming towards the end of the first year of the third term of Love Wimbledon, and I have also recently celebrated my own first anniversary as Chief Executive. While the economic climate nationally remains uncertain, Wimbledon remains impressively resilient, and I believe we are in great shape to weather this storm. The next few months will offer much for businesses locally to look forward to.

 

Starting in March with the opening of The Golf Groove, we will increasingly see the Centre Court Shopping Centre transformation realised. With climbing walls, a luxury gym and spa, new restaurants and retail and a new co-working hub all to look forward to, it will be a very different place by the end of 2023.

Centre Court Shopping Redevelopment

 

We continue to attract new office businesses and have several more major arrivals in the next three months, beginning with Flight Centre’s relocation to 120 The Broadway this month. This will bring hundreds more employees into the town centre – good news for the local economy! There will be several major developments completed in 2023, including the YMCA scheme and the new office development opposite at 147 the Broadway, which will transform the look and feel of this end of our BID area.

YMCA Development

 

Our Business Masterclass Series, launched in January 2023, will continue throughout the year, with events to look forward to on workplace wellbeing, cyber security, the future of workspaces and sustainability. I’d encourage you to attend any of these events if you have concerns in these important areas of business or if you’re looking to expand your business network, bringing our business community together is so important right now. If you missed the last masterclass, you can now catch up with our podcast on your preferred streaming service.

Business Masterclass Series

 

The Coronation in May will kick-off a packed summer of events, activities, markets and displays planned to showcase Wimbledon Town Centre in all its glory, including of course tennis fortnight – we want everyone to take real civic pride from our town this summer.

It’s a genuine privilege to be in this position, and I’ve met many excellent businesses in the last year here in Wimbledon, but I am always keen to know more. If we’ve not met yet, or if you have any questions about how the BID’s services can help your business with any challenge or opportunity you are currently working through, please get in touch!

The Golf Groove Comes to Wimbledon

The ongoing developments of Centre Court Shopping Centre are well underway with the first of the new developments, The Golf Groove set to open this month.

Wimbledonians and beyond will soon be able to experience a brand new high-tech immersive golf experience with a stylish bar and restaurant. The space will bring a different kind of entertainment to Wimbledon, catering to anyone from the amateur golfer to the well-versed pro.

Whether you are looking to play with friends and family, learn from PGA Qualified professional coaches or just grab a drink with colleagues you’ll find everything under one roof – or bay! Their 12 state-of-the-art, Trackman and Callaway supported bays are designed to accommodate everyone from scratch golfers to first-time explorers. Tee off from the Empire State Building or play a round of golf at the world’s best courses.

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Richard Harrison, CEO of The Golf Groove:

The Golf Groove is very much looking forward to being a part of the Wimbledon business community. Our hi-tech indoor golf experience is for everyone from beginners to Tiger Woods and our bar and dining area is designed for comfort with a homely design. Our South West facing terrace captures the sun all day and is a perfect spot to enjoy a drink or some food from our Chef Marlon.

With a highly experienced team of PGA professionals, we are focusing on group lessons for everyone as well as detailed tech coaching using Trackman. Our partners Callaway are proving equipment in every bay. We will be open from 0700am until 2300hrs midweek and from 0800am at weekends. We look forward to welcoming you all.

 

For updates on opening and booking, please visit www.thegolfgroove.com

Ranger Impact Report Q4

 

The Love Wimbledon team work hard to ensure Wimbledon Town Centre is attractive, clean and safe. Our Town Ranger, patrols our streets taking note of the aftermath of anti-social behaviour. From graffiti to fly-tipping, we aim to resolve issues promptly with the appropriate parties.

Last quarter we noticed an influx in litter and debris on our streets. Our Ranger worked swiftly with Veolia to keep the town centre clean and attractive for visitors and employees in Wimbledon. As we head into spring we will be doing a deep clean ahead of the tennis and other events. The graph above illustrates the number of issues that have been resolved from the last quarter. A whopping 611 instances were resolved in Wimbledon from October – December 2022.

Our team reports around 30 issues a week to external services such as First Mile, Veolia, Community Clean, Merton Council and Thames Water, ensuring they are resolved quickly and effectively.

 

Click here to see more about how we work to improve Wimbledon

 

You can report issues here:

Fly tipping

Litter/Weeds

Graffiti (in public areas)

Leaks 

Streets and Pavements (Highways)

Traffic Lights

Bus Stops and Shelters

Rough sleepers

 

Merton Business Community Aims to Crack Business Challenges

Wednesday 25th January saw the launch of a new Business Masterclass Series from Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District and Merton Chamber of Commerce for SMEs in the London Borough of Merton to learn, engage and discover tangible solutions to pressing business challenges. The first of its kind in the borough, the full series will cover a range of topics the business community have suggested, including navigating economic uncertainty, recruitment, retention and wellbeing in the workplace, cybersecurity, and the future of workspaces.

The South West London Borough of Merton is home to nearly 7,000 businesses including major headquarters, SMEs and start-ups located on high streets, in offices and industrial estates. The first masterclass engaged with this diverse audience at the recently transformed Domestic & General HQ in central Wimbledon, where delegates heard from world-class, local experts Al Grljevic, Chief Operating Officer, Domestic & General, Monica Hunter, Executive Business Coach and Michael Martin, Financial Journalist and Founder of Cannizaro Planning.

The first ‘Managing Business in Uncertain Times’ masterclass provided different perspectives from each speaker. Al Grljevic discussed work culture and how being a disruptor in Insurtech in a B2B2C environment has placed customers and employees first, resulting in improved recruitment and retention; and the emphasis on Customer Lifetime Value is also extended to Employee Value.

On employee retention, Monica Hunter agreed; ‘People work in environments that make them feel purposeful. Talk about your company values, and the purpose and impact of what your company does.’ In his overview of the economy and the current financial challenges businesses face, Michael Martin gave some reassurance and observed; ‘Financial change is constant. It is important for businesses to filter out the noise and focus on the meaningful.’

 

Craig Hurring, CEO of Love Wimbledon commented:

‘We are lucky enough to not only have a diverse range of businesses in this area, but also leading speakers wanting to engage and support our business community. This is the first of what we intend to be a series of genuinely valuable business events this year, that Love Wimbledon and Merton Chamber of Commerce will be creating, responding to real issues that our business community have highlighted.’

 

Sarah Austin, Chair of Merton Chamber of Commerce added:

‘It was wonderful to see so many business owners and entrepreneurs come together at our first-in-a-series of Masterclasses.  The evening highlighted the value of being able to turn to and rely on trusted support networks in challenging times. The Masterclasses provide an excellent opportunity for our business community to make new connections, share ideas and help one another to achieve their goals.’

 

These borough-wide live events have been made possible with grant funding through Merton Council. A podcast of the first event will be released early February.

 

Upcoming Topics in the Business Masterclass Series:

Recruitment, Retention and Wellbeing in the Workplace – March 2023

Growing and Protecting Your Business Online – May 2023

Future of Workspaces – July 2023

 

Wimbledon Businesses Helping the Community

We like to shout about the great work Wimbledon businesses do in the community. This Christmas period was no exception, with businesses coming together to support local people, charities and each other.

 

Community Support

The Alexandra Pub opened its doors once again to around 200 people, who were on their own Christmas Day for a free dinner, drinks and good company.

Morrisons Supermarket donated raffled prizes to St Mary’s Primary School and to the local British Heart Foundation.

The Entertainer held their annual ‘The Big Toy Appeal’, where customers picked a toy to donate to The Salvation Army.

You may have seen The Dons Local Action Group outside supermarkets in Wimbledon. With your support, they helped thousands of households in South West London put food on the table.

Wimbledon Station received over 207 boxes for their Shoebox Appeal to help those who are vulnerable or facing homelessness during Christmas.

Businesses Coming Together

Wimbledon Offices and businesses within Tuition House (including Love Wimbledon!) came together to donate packaged goods to Merton’s Community Fridge for the Big Kitchen Cupboard Clear-out, reducing waste and supporting the community this winter. This initiative has been extended until 1st February 2023.

Wimbledon Guild raised over £19,000 for their Christmas appeal to support older people and families in Merton. This includes the £772 they raised as our guests at Love Wimbledon’s Winterfest 2022.

A big thank you to Uniqlo who kindly provided free heat tech clothing for our Christmas Market stallholders to stay warm during the cold snap.

Uniqlo and Love Wimbledon market stallholders

 

We love good news stories. If your business has something to share please email us at info@lovewimbledon.org.

 

CEO Update – Christmas 2022

Christmas is very much upon us now here in Wimbledon. We were delighted to kick off the festive season with our ‘Reunite this Christmas’ campaign and Winterfest event, and it was thrilling to see people in their thousands reuniting with friends and family despite the rain to enjoy our celebration. With panto season in full swing, Christmas trees at the station and The Piazza, our reindeer back on display across town, and with our brilliant Christmas Markets in full swing, I wanted to take this moment to reflect on an extraordinary year.

I joined love Wimbledon in January 2022, so I’m approaching the end of my first full year in this role. It’s been a remarkable year for everyone, with Omicron, Ukraine, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Funeral, ongoing political instability in the UK and now the emerging cost-of-living crisis all occurring. Through these turbulent times we’ve had to adapt our own work to support the evolving needs of our levy payers, and, despite the challenges ahead, I remain excited about our work and the opportunities for Wimbledon’s businesses in 2023.

I’ve had so many personal highlights of my first year here. I’ve been overwhelmed by how welcoming businesses, residents and politicians have all been to me, and I’ve loved starting to get to know some of the incredible organisations that call Wimbledon Town Centre their home. It’s been hugely rewarding to see so many people come to our events and markets in town too, and a real highlight was seeing multiple generations of families playing our giant games together while enjoying the live music and street food at our Friday Food & Play summer events. These will definitely return next year!

Friday Food & Play 2022

In 2023 we have some big new ideas and events to bring our business community back together face-to-face more regularly and meaningfully, and we’ll also keep delivering and enhancing those essential services that are vital to so many of our levy payers, such as our Ranger work. In 2022, our Ranger Tom identified and resolved over 2,500 incidents in Wimbledon Town Centre, including graffiti removal, waste collection, fly tipping, fly posting and litter removal. We see this work as the crucial foundation in Civic Pride from which all our other work is built.

Graffiti Removal

 

Turning now to the new, I’m delighted to announce the first in our major new programme of Business Masterclasses. These are events designed for businesses across Merton, addressing the topics you told us are causing ongoing concern in this current challenging economic environment, from recruitment to cyber security. We’ll be bringing together acknowledged experts and local leaders in these fields to collectively talk about some of these challenges and potential solutions. Beginning on 25 January, these events promise so much for the year ahead.

We’ll also be working closely with our approved partners in the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge programme, as we all collectively strive to become more knowledgeable on ways to become more sustainable and to reduce our energy costs as businesses. Businesses joining the Challenge will be working closely with leading sustainability consultants, from which we hope to build an evolving body of knowledge that we can use to help the entire business community.

Next year will of course also see the first phase of the redevelopment of Centre Court Shopping Centre, with exciting experiential businesses and new public spaces opening just a few months from now. This is a hugely exciting transformation of a shopping centre that could not have survived as it was, into a multi-use destination combining co-working space, experiential businesses, health and wellbeing, restaurants and traditional retail. It promises to be instrumental in safeguarding the success of Wimbledon Town Centre for the foreseeable future.

I know the months ahead could prove to be challenging, and I will strive to do everything we can to help our businesses through identifying potential solutions and resources we can access to assist our businesses through any challenges they are facing.

On behalf of the Love Wimbledon team I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – we can’t wait to work with you in 2023!

CEO of Love Wimbledon- Craig Hurring

Talk of The Town 2022

We were delighted to see so many guests attend our annual Talk of the Town event on Tuesday 8th October.

If you missed the meeting, please see the highlights here: https://vimeo.com/766563255

 

 

Craig Hurring, Chief Executive said:

As my first year leading the Love Wimbledon team comes towards an end, it was a thrill to speak with our businesses at our annual Talk of the Town Event to show them some of the work we have collectively delivered across Wimbledon Town Centre in 2022. Many thanks to those businesses that were able to attend, and I hope they agree that it’s been quite a year!

 

We heard from two important speakers. Richard Harrison, The Founder of new business The Golf Groove, expressed his excitement to join Centre Court in its redevelopment next year.  Head of Climate Change Mitigation at The Greater London Authority (GLA), Simon Wyke, discussed the process and benefits of joining the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge. Love Wimbledon is inviting businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre to join this Climate Challenge. 

 

Richard Harrison, Founder of The Golf Groove spoke at the event:

We are welcoming to everyone and trying to bring the best aspects of golf in this stimulated format by gamifying this experience. You can play from any top golf courses, a non golfer can stand in the bay and be at the top of the Empire State Building and hit golf balls into Manhattan with our latest technology simulators.

 

Simon Wyke, Head of Climate Change Mitigation said:

The Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge can help reduce your energy consumption and carbon emissions and also make a lot of cost savings for your business.

 

Thank you to everyone who attended this meeting. Please see the links below.

 

Love Wimbledon Annual Report

Consumer Home Page 

What’s On 

See how Love Wimbledon can support businesses here: https://vimeo.com/759921859.

See Love Wimbledon events here: https://vimeo.com/759147103.

 

 

Reunite This Christmas Campaign

 

This season, Love Wimbledon’s  ‘Reunite This Christmas’ campaign launches, kicking off an exciting festive offer. The campaign focuses on celebrating people coming together again for the first Christmas without any restrictions in awhile. Encompassing what our amazing High Street businesses have to offer, from theatre performances to delicious dinners, winter fashion in Elys to sumptuous gifts at our markets, this is the time to reunite with friends, family and work colleagues. We look forward to seeing you all there!

 

Winterfest

Sunday 27th November, 12-6pm

A day of festive family fun to fill everyone with the spirit of the season. The Broadway will be closed for children’s rides, ice sculpting, live performances and hot food and drink. Stay for a spectacular fireworks display at 5.30pm, courtesy of Centre Court Shopping.

 

 

Christmas Markets

Weekends, 19th November – 18th December

Fridays 9th and 16th December

Our popular Christmas Markets return 19th November for five consecutive weekends of outdoor shopping on The Piazza. A curated selection of local artisans offer a broad range of products, including original art, home décor, bespoke jewellery, clothing, candles and much more.

 

Christmas Tree

Look out for our much-loved Christmas tree, returning to Wimbledon once more on 24th November. This year Morr & Co Solicitors will be sponsoring our real 25ft tree which will be illuminated outside Wimbledon station alongside our signage post to remind you of all the festive events happening in the town centre. As a special treat this year, an additional real Christmas tree will be on The Piazza.

Gift Card

Support local businesses this Christmas by signing up for the Love Wimbledon Gift Card. Encourage the community to reunite in Wimbledon Town Centre by shopping locally by redeeming their gift card at your business. This service is free for businesses to join, register your business here.

Ranger Impact Report Q3

 

 

Often in a town centre there are things you notice, whether events or a new shop, and then there things which happen quite often without anyone noticing them at all. That’s where our Ranger comes in, who patrols our streets taking note of the aftermath of anti-social behaviour. From graffiti to fly tipping, our aim is to get issues resolved promptly with the appropriate parties.

The graph above illustrates the total amount of resolutions Love Wimbledon achieves (and with a handy quarter on quarter change). 538 instances were resolved in Wimbledon from July – Sept 2022.

Our team reports around 30 issues a week to external services such as First Mile, Veolia, Community Clean, Merton Council and Thames Water. This ensures that these issues are resolved as quickly as possible.

As the graph shows, 160 more instances have been resolved since the previous quarter with more graffiti removal and more clearing of fly-tipping & fly-posting.

Big Wins for Love Wimbledon Businesses at the Merton Best Business Awards

Merton Best Business Awards celebrate and recognise the crème de la crème of businesses within the borough.

Now in its tenth year, the prestigious awards embrace the range of businesses within Wimbledon and the Borough of Merton. These businesses have shown determination and passion to survive the events of the past two years, and have shown resilience, excellence, innovation, and best practice.

 

Craig Hurring, CEO of Love Wimbledon commented:

‘Love Wimbledon is proud to be part of the Merton Best Business Awards, and to specifically sponsor the Business Innovation Award, recognising the ingenuity of local businesses in exploring new markets, channels and products in an unprecedented business environment. This was an inspirational night celebrating the best of Merton’s business community, and I was particularly delighted to see so many businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre being nominated and winning awards.’

 

A range of new categories and an easy application process attracted a high number of applications, with Wimbledon Town Centre businesses scooping a number of awards and runner-up positions:

 

The Alexandra

Aya Lebanese Cuisine

Love Wimbledon BID business, The Alexandra took home The Contribution to the Community Award, while The Polka Theatre, won The Sustainable Impact Award and finally Aya Lebanese Cuisine, was awarded with Enterprising Young Person of the Year Award.

 

The Polka Theatre

Runners up:

  • Mint Wellbeing – The Best Enterprising Business and Independent Business Award
  • Elys Wimbledon – Business Innovation Award
  • The Polka Theatre – Champions of Change Award
  • Harnham – Large Independent Business Award
  • Scrivener Tibbatts – Employer of the Year

 

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners, a full list can be found on the Merton Best website here.

Love Wimbledon was proud to be gold sponsors of this event and sponsored the ‘Business Innovation Award’. The winner of this award continues to survive, revive, and thrive against the odds.