Merton Council is investing more than a million pounds in Mitcham to revitalise the town centre and enhance its identity.
The cash will be spent on various projects including the following:
1. Five new gateway signs are being installed at Figges Marsh (two locations), Western Road, London Road and Three Kings roundabout to welcome people to Mitcham town centre. The signs will follow the design of those on the borough boundaries but will be adapted to read Mitcham town centre.
2. New waste bins and seating have been installed around the Fair Green area and giant planters around Fair Green have been planted with lavender, drawing on the historic connection Mitcham has with this scented plant.
3. An upgrade to the town’s pedestrian signs is planned. Columns to include colour maps and information about what is available in the surrounding area are to be installed over the coming months. Historical references relevant to the location of each column will also be included.
4. Merton Council is funding the refurbishment of Mitcham shop fronts with the aim of further improving the overall appearance of the town. Five shop landlords have successfully applied for up to £5,000 each to give their shops a facelift. Each landlord is to contribute a matching amount towards the refurbishment, due to start in the next few weeks.
5. Mitcham residents will enjoy two brand new outdoor gyms at Figges Marsh and Pollards Hill Recreation Ground to be built over the next three weeks. Both gyms will include a mix of toning, cardio and stretching apparatus such as a cross trainer and chest and leg presses.
6. To complement the new station at Mitcham Eastfields and make it easier for pedestrians to walk between the station and the town centre, the council is creating a direct walking route between the two. Improvements to St Marks Road and the introduction of Merton’s first home zone in Laburnum Road are due to be completed in July.
This continuing programme of improvements builds on the opening of the brand new Mitcham Eastfields station last year, the official opening of Mitcham Market by Dragon’s Den star Rachel Lowe earlier this month as well as the recent refurbishment of the Grade II listed clock tower.
Merton Council cabinet member for regeneration Councillor Diane Neil Mills said: “These are exciting times for Mitcham. We are committed to supporting businesses and residents in the town by making it an attractive and vibrant place where people can live, work, visit and shop. It is great to see all the improvement measures that we have been working on over the past months now come to fruition. The willingness of shop owners to invest in their shops during difficult economic times is very positive, and demonstrates the commitment of local businesses to the long term future of Mitcham. We are committed to making Mitcham a safe place with good shopping facilities and an efficient public transport network. This is just the beginning. There’s plenty more being planned for the future.”
Notes to editors
1. To find out more about the shop front improvement grant, Mitcham shop landlords should contact: 020 8545 3232
2. All the stalls in Mitcham Market are now on the market square where customers can browse for a wide variety of bargains in one place.
3. Transport Minister Tom Harris MP officially opened Mitcham Eastfields station in July 2008. The opening of Mitcham Eastfields was a major step forward for the area and has played a significant role in the regeneration of Mitcham town centre. It is the first brand new suburban station in south London since World War II and one of the first modular stations in the UK. Until the development of Mitcham Eastfields, the nearest railway station for Mitcham was Mitcham Junction, over a mile from the town centre and in zone four. The new station is just an eight-minute walk from Mitcham town centre and is in zone three.
4. A home zone is an area of highway designed to create a space which is shared between all road users. They are particularly appropriate for areas with low levels of traffic such as Laburnum Road which is a cul de sac.