Merton gains millions from successful GLA bid

Merton Council is set to benefit from over £4.45m to rejuvenate and improve Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon and Mitcham following two successful bids it submitted to the GLA.

£715,000 from the GLA’s Outer London Fund, announced this week, will be used by Future Merton, the council’s regeneration team, to finance major improvements to Mitcham. The money will go into refurbishing shop fronts, rejuvenating Mitcham Market and landscaping Mitcham’s Fair Green. Significant funding will go on revamping the public space in the town centre including new street furniture and trees as well as improved pedestrian areas.

Financial help will also be provided to support businesses and revitalise the local economy. Money will be set aside for developing a social enterprise programme in partnership with social enterprise specialists London Sustainability.

On top of the Outer London Fund, Merton has also been successful in attracting £3.7m from the GLA’s regeneration fund to plough into areas affected by the summer 2011 riots. The money will be used to improve Colliers Wood town centre and Merton High Street in South Wimbledon as well as support businesses in the area. Some of the funding will help transform Merantun Way into to a boulevard with cycle lanes and footpaths, improving access from High Path and Merton High Street to the historic Abbey Mills and South Wimbledon Business Area.

The money will help refresh Merton High Street, where shop fronts will be given a makeover. Both Merton High Street and Christchurch Road, Colliers Wood will see improvements similar to those currently underway in Wimbledon town centre. The area will be cleared of unnecessary street signs and benefit from quality paving and street furniture. Also planned is a new town square for the area around the Colliers Wood tower, which is itself due to be transformed with cladding and turned into new homes for sale and rent.

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: “I am pleased that our proposals for improving Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon and Mitcham have received the backing of the Mayor’s fund and that we have won much needed money for investment. In these difficult times we need to be ambitious for Merton’s future. That is why we have developed comprehensive plans to improve our town centres and local neighbourhoods. What matters is the quality of the environment for people where they live and work. This combined funding, supplemented by the council’s own money, will make a noticeable difference to Mitcham, Colliers Wood and South Wimbledon.”