Four improvement projects will mean a brighter town centre for Wimbledon, once lockdown restrictions across the UK are lifted. Love Wimbledon, the local business partnership that supports efforts to boost the town, has announced the developments, designed to spruce up local spaces.
Love Wimbledon has secured £120,000 in funding from Merton Council to revamp Hartfield Walk, between the Blacks and Robert Dyas stores on The Broadway. The underused space will benefit from new planting, outdoor seating, market kiosks, new lighting and public art.
It is hoped that the New Wimbledon Theatre will reopen in spring with a paved front entrance. Road layout changes on Russell Road mean the new space will provide an area for theatregoers to meet – once allowed – before or after a show, for a more sociable theatre experience.
The well-loved Polka Theatre is also due to re-open in spring with a new café and play area, as well as expanded capacity for younger children and a rehearsal and community space. The theatre received more than £250,0000 from the government’s coronavirus Culture Recovery Fund to ensure it could continue the redevelopment during the pandemic.
And a brand-new YMCA hostel with en-suite rooms, new café and revamp of its popular gym has been given planning approval. Merton Council granted permission for the development in December 2020, which includes new housing on the site with free resident car hire subscriptions and cycle parking to limit the environmental impact.
According to Love Wimbledon, “[the town] is entering the new year with a surge in positive developments. Our town is an urban/suburban hub of good transport links, beautiful buildings, HQs, independents and cultural choice. It is recognised as a growth relocation area for businesses who want somewhere safe, convenient and affordable, [these] projects will further enhance this.”
Read more about this story on the Love Wimbledon website.