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September CEO Update from Helen

Love Wimbledon Team at Ride London

After Ride London, August is always a quiet month on the streets of Wimbledon, however we are very pleased to note that our overall footfall is not declining. In fact year on year we have stronger figures than August 2018 and we are showing a growth in footfall for the year to date. Investment in Wimbledon continues to be good and with strong interest in Wellington House and 22 Worple Road, the office sector continues to grow.

Unfortunately you will see that a couple of retailers have recently closed their doors. Since the change to the fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in April, two of our bookmakers have chosen to close in Wimbledon and Burger King was repossessed by the landlord from the franchise owners.

On a positive note, we are pleased to be working with LEON to welcome them to Wimbledon this autumn and are actively working with agents to attract new businesses to town. If there is a business you would like to see in Wimbledon then please let us know!

We have an exciting autumn ahead as we go into awards season, then cultural festival season and then I won’t mention the next season, but I can promise you plans are already afoot!

July CEO Update from Helen

Wimbledon town centre really does come alive at this time of year and we work hard to ensure the town is presented well. You will have seen our pavements being jetwashed (see more) and this year we have taken it upon ourselves to clean, repaint and dress the taxi shelter at Wimbledon station (see more). This along with the rainbow pedestrian crossing makes Wimbledon a town we can all be proud of, particularly at this time of year.

Our Big Screen is set up and ready to welcome you once again to The Piazza to catch all the live coverage from The Championships. This year we’re serving up a double with our Big Screen sponsors Elmlea, whose head office (and BID business) Upfield is based in Wimbledon Town Centre. Thank you to Abbottswood Flooring, another of our BID businesses, for their terrific service and expert fitting of the astroturf (see more) on The Piazza. We’re proud of these local partnerships as we work hard to connect BID businesses to our busy events calendar.

Bid Screen 2019

I attended the Merton Council scrutiny meeting for the report of the parking consultation last week and it looks like the proposals will be approved and accepted for implementation in September. This is particularly disappointing for Wimbledon as many parking costs will increase by 100%. I will update you more on this as soon as we have further confirmation. (Read our response to the Parking Consultation).

To finish on a positive note, I attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament hosted by Jake Berry MP who confirmed that BIDs are very important to the economic development of town centres and that those area that have Business Improvement Districts are responding well to the changes in retail.

We look forward to seeing you on a deckchair or a picnic bench very soon!

Find out more about our Big Screen Tennis and Summer Sit Out and other Summer Events.

June CEO Update from Helen

As new buildings are unveiled and businesses continue to reinvest in their premises we are delighted there are a few opportunities for expansion of existing businesses and we look forward to welcoming new businesses into Wimbledon. The stunning Wellington House on Wimbledon Hill Road and the refurbished and revitalised 22 – 24 Worple Road have received a lot of interest for their new offices and we look forward to welcoming a number of new businesses very soon.

We also welcome Oddono’s, an established gelateria to Wimbledon and a newly refurbished Whittards have re-opened their doors and along with a sneak view of the award winning workplace interiors specialists Peldon Rose, investment in Wimbledon remains strong as an attractive and vibrant place for businesses of all sectors and sizes.

Peldon Rose Office refurbishment

Peldon Rose new office refurbishment in Sterling House

 

The tennis is nearly upon us once again and the town will be preparing to welcome the hundreds of thousands of visitors before, during and after The Championships. We always want Wimbledon to look its best and will be jetwashing key areas of pavement and working with partners to ensure everyone plays their part. I encourage you too to get into the tennis spirit and if nothing else we look forward to seeing you on The Piazza at The Big Screen!

Big Screen Tennis on The Piazza

Big Screen Tennis on The Piazza coming soon.

May CEO Update from Helen

As Tesco’s calls for a 2% online sales tax to relieve business rates, Debenhams Wimbledon is put on the closure list for 2020, and Chicken Shop close their doors, Elys reveal their latest investment with the launch of their Urban Beauty department incorporating Gina Conway Salon & Spa. Through these changes Wimbledon is demonstrating the epitome of the current turmoil in retail. Town centres and their businesses must evolve and reflect more of their locality to ensure we survive and thrive. We can all do our bit to support our local town whether this is through B2B networks and supporting local business, employing local people or simply using the Love Wimbledon Privilege Card, let’s focus on keeping Wimbledon strong.

In the meantime, Love Wimbledon are delighted and proud to support this wonderful and innovative partnership between two of Wimbledon’s favourite independent businesses, Elys and Gina Conway providing a high quality, exclusive experience to Wimbledon and we are actively working with the owners of Centre Court to look for opportunities to enhance their provision to further strengthen the town centre but Debenhams is not closed yet!

For our latest news and updates follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

CEO Update from Helen

Like many of you we were very sorry to see HMV close but would like to reassure you that HMV Curzon remains open. Meanwhile Premier Inn and Bar + Block opened and with 3 other new foodie options opening soon along with a new club, Wimbledon remains a strong town centre. A government committee report was published on 21st February entitled High Streets and town centres in 2030, which we contributed to, making recommendations for how town centres need to adapt to maintain their vitality and importance to the community. We are delighted to see the value of BIDs being highlighted as being integral to the development of high streets and town centres.

Read the full report

Where will the high street be in 2030

The summary of the report is that they believe that “high streets and town centres can survive and thrive by 2030…as activity based community gathering places ….” The committee is calling for a reduction in business rates for retailers in high streets and town centres and encourage Government to assess their proposals of a sales tax, an increase in VAT, an online sales tax and green taxes on deliveries and packaging, providing fast relief to high street retailers.

 

Alongside this report there is currently a Treasury Committee inquiry into the impact of business rates that I would encourage you to respond to. The closing date for submissions is 2nd April 2019. Respond to the inquiry here.

 

Autumn Update from our CEO, Helen Clark Bell

After a glorious and busy summer, there is a lot of activity coming up this Autumn in Wimbledon that we will be providing more detail on as they develop. We have the consultation of the Wimbledon Masterplan due to be released in September, there will be a lunchtime workshop for business views on the future use of St Mark’s Place and news about Crossrail 2 will be expected either in the Autumn Budget statement or in a report from the Independent Affordability Review.

In the meantime Love Wimbledon will hosting our annual business update for all businesses to attend and very soon you will receive our Annual Report for 2017-18. Love Wimbledon is delighted to welcome two new Board directors who joined us in July:

Alex Tosetti from AECOM, a regional office in Wimbledon of the American multinational engineering company and Salima Rajap from Gina Conway Aveda Salons, an independent hair and spa salon replacing Gina Conway who resigned earlier this year. Stephen Midlane from Polka Theatre also resigned due to his retirement after 40 years at Polka Theatre.  The Board would like to thank Stephen and Gina for their contributions to Love Wimbledon over the last 7 years but also for their support in setting Love Wimbledon up prior to the first ballot!

The Love Wimbledon Board of Directors is made up of around 12 business representatives, from each sector, size and location of businesses within the BID area, find out who they are Meet the Team.

If you would be interested in becoming a Board member please contact Helen Clark Bell helencb@lovewimbledon.org