New owners plan significant changes to revitalise Centre Court
CGI of the entrance from Queen's Road. Picture: Fletcher Priest Architects
Work on a substantial transformation of the Centre Court Shopping Centre is set to begin.
The arcade opposite Wimbledon Station, which is currently home to over 65 brands such as H&M, M&S, Boots, Oliver Bonas, and Whittard, will be modernised by the new owners Romulus.
Having acquired the centre in April 2021 the company says it wants to change the inward-looking, 1990s retail environment into a more lively open space.
It says that these changes will be carried out while retaining the existing structure and that almost all existing businesses stay open.
CGI of an Umbrella Sky entrance at Centre Court Shopping Centre Wimbledon
Romulus is proposing a series of initial interventions that focus on four key areas:
1. Placemaking on Queens Road to create welcoming, green and bright places designed around pedestrians. This will include a new community entranceway;
2. A new central courtyard with a retractable roof that opens up on sunny days;
3. Improvements to the existing entrances that include a new art installation by the main, Broadway entrance; and
4. A mix of new uses to cater to the demands of local residents including new shops, gym, workspaces, restaurants, bars and more.
Romulus believe these measures outlined will significantly increase footfall at the centre which it says is currently half empty. 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.
Alex Woolf, Strategy Director at Romulus, said about the plans, “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.”
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October 25, 2021