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New Mushroom Farm Joins Centre Court

 

As part of Centre Court Shopping Centre’s transformation, a new mushroom farm has been installed that needs hospitality businesses in Wimbledon to donate their used coffee grounds to grow gourmet mushrooms.

Run by mushroom farmers Caley Brothers, the purpose of this new farm is to utilise coffee waste from local cafes and restaurants to grow Grey Oyster Mushrooms. The harvest of mushrooms will then be available for local hospitality businesses to buy at competitive prices, to add a gourmet ingredient to their menus and encourage consumption of locally-grown produce.

Used coffee grounds are a perfect substrate for growing mushrooms and are a byproduct of many local hospitality businesses. Saving these grounds from going to landfill and using them within the growing process will help to create a local circular economy.

If your business produces waste coffee grounds, then get in touch with Caley Brothers by emailing enquiries@caleybrothers.co.uk. You will need to ensure that your used coffee grounds are kept separate from other waste, and are in a usable condition.

The Farm at Centre Court Shopping Centre will produce a regular, almost daily harvest of Grey Oyster Mushrooms that will then be made available to local businesses at competitive prices.

The used substrate from this harvesting will also be repurposed, to nourish the flowerbeds and planting on the new rooftop wildlife garden in Centre Court. The rooftop is due to have beehives installed, which will help support biodiversity by maintaining secure and healthy bee populations.

This all comes as part of Romulus’ sustainable vision – https://futureofcentrecourt.com/sustainability/.

The Festive Spirit Returns to Wimbledon

Love Wimbledon has brought the festive spirit to Wimbledon Town Centre in the lead up to Christmas, attracting visitors to the town through activities and events and the launch of The Wimbledon Gift Card

 

Decorating the Town

Our magical, twinkling tree has returned outside Wimbledon Station bringing a smile to commuters and visitors passing by, while children and families have been captivated by our Spot the Golden Reindeer installation, which has seen Santa’s nine reindeer back again with a new twist to celebrate local theatres. Christmas lights have been switched on and planters refreshed with festive flowers, including Wimbledon’s first Living Pillar which has been updated with air-scrubbing plants! We have dressed up the shop fronts of empty units along The Broadway with planting and pops of colour, presenting a more attractive town centre.

The Wimbledon Gift Card 

Love Wimbledon has launched London’s first town centre gift card, designed to encourage local spend in Wimbledon and provide essential support to a range of high street businesses within the community. This is a positive addition to the town centre, promoting the depth and range of businesses to the strong community and provides the great gift of choice to reward employees and volunteers this Christmas. Used like a pre-paid Mastercard, it’s redeemable at over 30 brands, independents, restaurants, lifestyle, entertainment and cultural venues in Wimbledon Town Centre, including department store Elys, Prince of Wales Pub, Lush and Fitness Space. To find out more and order The Wimbledon Gift Card for your staff, click here or register your business to take part here.

Wimbledon Winter Weekender

Taking the place of our Winter Wonderland event, we created a reimagined community event this year – the Wimbledon Winter Weekender, which took place 27-28 November. Spread across two days, the event featured community choirs, dance performances, schools acts, face painting, steel pans music, Santa appearances, ice-carving and the very popular fireworks. Businesses lended their support to the event, with Centre Court Shopping Centre hosting the fireworks display and many families, children and visitors getting involved and enjoying the return of live events. We thank those who visited the town for this event and supported local, braving the cold weather and showing true festive spirit.

Christmas Markets on The Piazza

In their 10th year, our Christmas Markets are always a popular event. Providing that extra sparkle to The Piazza and offering the perfect opportunity to pick up unique Christmas gifts and deliciously hot festive food, we have two upcoming Friday markets, for employees to visit during their lunchbreaks or after work*. Local artisans offer a broad range of products, including original art, home décor, bespoke jewellery, clothing, candles and much more.

*Our last two Christmas Markets are Friday 10th December – Sunday 12th December and Friday 17th December – Sunday 19th December, 11am to 6pm each day.

We’d like to thank all the businesses that have come together to support the local community and the town this Christmas, whether it’s by donating to local organisations who help those in need, or sponsoring our activities and events, to deliver Christmas festivities in a new way this year. Thank you to The Piazza and Centre Court Shopping for sponsoring the Christmas Tree as well as our Golden Reindeer, plus Polka Theatre and New Wimbledon Theatre for also supporting the reindeer installation. A final thank you to Morrisons Solicitors and WSM for sponsoring the floral planters on The Piazza.

Christmas Activities in Wimbledon

Christmas Market food stall

Love Wimbledon are hosting a range of FREE events and promotions to bolster the Christmas period, aiming to drive footfall to the town centre and enhance the overall experience for visitors, supported by a strong marketing campaign.

The Wimbledon Gift Card

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 and employee gifts. If your business would like to take part in the gift card programme, please register here, and look out for when this launches – it’s also a great opportunity for a tax-free gift for your employees.

Christmas Tree

A perennial favourite, the Christmas Tree will appear again on the station forecourt, lighting up the town. 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!

Christmas Markets: five consecutive weekends, from 20th November

This year marks the 10th anniversary of our festive markets on The Piazza, which take place annually across five weekends during the Christmas period. The markets provide a winter shopping and eating experience over 12 days, including two Fridays (10th and 17th December) where employees can pop down during their lunches/after work. 11am – 6pm

Wimbledon Winter Weekender: 27th & 28th November

Our NEW Winter Weekender will welcome visitors to the town centre with festivities across two days, replacing our previous one-day Winter Wonderland event and tying into the Black Friday shopping weekend. 12pm – 5pm

Visitors will enjoy:

  • Performances
  • Brass band
  • Roller skating Christmas characters
  • Ice carving demonstration
  • Father Christmas appearance
  • Fireworks Display (5pm on Sunday, courtesy of Centre Court Shopping)
  • And more!

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, providing additional enjoyment for theatre-goers.  


We look forward to a joyful festive season for the town and businesses within, with the community coming together once again and celebrating Christmas. Get in touch to let us know what your business has planned and we can promote your offering. info@lovewimbledon.org

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.

Event Recap: More Independent Shops
and Better Places and Spaces

Summarising key findings from their latest business survey, Love Wimbledon BID held an online meeting attended by over 60 businesses, titled The Next Five Years. Over 80% of businesses, in our recent consultation think Love Wimbledon is promoting the Town Centre well, with 80% also agreeing they represent the interests of their business. Even in a year of pandemic more than ¾ of businesses agreed that Wimbledon has engaging events and is a great town to visit with even higher numbers agreeing they feel supported with a good range of services and marketing.

But not an organisation to sit still, during the overview more questions were asked of the attending audience. So what were the results? 85% thought families would be the biggest future market for Wimbledon Town Centre. When asked about new high street businesses, top of the polls was a desire to see more independents being part of the town centre, in fact improved retail was seen as the most important thing to attract visitors in the future. Big brands however weren’t seen as the real attraction receiving fewer than half the votes. There was a clear demand for healthier places and spaces, with major support to reduce traffic and improve the look and feel of Wimbledon town centre.

Alex Woolf, a Director of Romulus, the new owners of Centre Court Shopping, introduced himself discussing their Huddle formula of workspaces currently in Hammersmith acknowledging the importance of the strong residential market that is on Wimbledon’s doorstep. Mixed-use and rethinking buildings seems to be their approach, whilst entwining conservation and sustainability into their designs and future. A warm, Wimbledon welcome was extended to Alex and the rest of the Romulus team.

So what next? Love Wimbledon will be surveying visitors and community groups over the coming weeks to see what their priorities are, and as Love Wimbledon comes up to our BID renewal the aim will be to ensure we lobby for, or deliver these needs over the next five years, to help with a strong recovery from the pandemic and to make Wimbledon a more attractive place for everyone.

To watch a recording of the meeting click here.
Passcode: W.8L3!ER

Facilitating New Partnerships: RSPCA & Centre Court

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. Kevin commented: “It is great that Centre Court could step in and support this local branch of a national charity. Another good example of Love Local, at this difficult time.”

“We deeply appreciate this help from the business community of Wimbledon Town Centre, which in turn will allow us to continue our work supporting animals and vulnerable pet owners in our area. We would like to think it is the start of a great partnership”

– Carmel Suthons-Saker, Branch Chair, RSPCA Wimbledon

Laura, Branch Manager at RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth & 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!”.

Love Wimbledon are a conduit of partnerships such as this, which support a great cause, build new connections for our businesses and bring further exposure to our town centre.

 

Trailblazing Shopping Experience Comes To Wimbledon

                                                                                     Founders Josh and Alicia (image taken pre-Covid)


A new store joined Centre Court Shopping Centre at the end of last year, bringing with it a trailblazing new movement which could change the future of retail in Wimbledon.

Previously located in Merton Abbey Mills in South Wimbledon, Zéro has now landed in the heart of Wimbledon Town Centre, joining several other independent businesses in Centre Court Shopping Centre and well-received by the local community.

Zéro is Wimbledon’s first zero-waste shop, where all products are sold in bulk or without disposable packaging and, where possible, come from organic or fair-trade farming and from local producers. Customers bring their own containers and fill them to the level desired – offering a simple alternative to excessive single-use packaging consumption.

One of the owners, Alicia, commented on their choice of relocation, stating that the unit in Centre Court not only offered a bigger space in a more central location, but also enabled the business to retain some of its customers due to its proximity to Merton Abbey Mills, whilst also reaching out to many more.

“We would like to think that our shop will inspire people and even other businesses to make a difference. Our shop is not only a place where people can find eco-friendly products, it is also an area where new ideas and conversations about sustainability can germinate.”

– Alicia, owner of Zéro

The inspiration for the store was developed from the continental European model of zero-waste grocery shopping, where the culture remains of going to specialised shops for individual items. Such an exciting and pioneering innovation to the face of retail in Wimbledon, can contribute to significant changes in the future of the zero-waste movement in our local area and lead to a shift in thinking from consumers towards greener, more sustainable shopping practices.

“We believe that the idea of zero-waste living must become more mainstream and having a shop in a major shopping centre in a place like Wimbledon will hopefully help achieve this.”

– Alicia, owner of Zéro

Centre Court Shopping Centre has seen in a surge in many small/independent businesses joining their premises over the last few months, and Love Wimbledon has been supporting and facilitating these introductions, to help diversify and retain the culture of our local town.

The manager of Centre Court, Simon Plumb commented:

“We’re so pleased to be able to welcome a store like Zero to the shopping centre especially in a year where we have all realised the importance of supporting small, independent businesses. We are continuing to work with our partners in the community to have conversations with local enterprises and to find new innovative concepts that can be brought to life in the Centre.”

We hope that the introduction of Zéro stimulates further investment into the sustainable future of Wimbledon, encourages more environmental innovation, and that many other businesses consider how to introduce greener practices into their services/products.

Click here to read our full interview with Zéro.