Final touch to Wimbledon town centre

Merton Leader welcomes final touch to Wimbledon town centre

On Thursday 21 June a new sculpture, which has been externally funded, will be unveiled on Wimbledon station forecourt as part of the completion of the improvements to Wimbledon town centre.

At the launch residents will be able to enjoy speeches by dignitaries including Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, as well as dance performances and get a first look at the Stag sculpture, a new piece of public art for the town centre.

The Stag sculpture is part of an ambitious £2.5 million project, known as ‘Destination Wimbledon’, which has been funded by Merton Council in partnership with Network Rail, South West Trains and Transport for London (TfL) to give the town centre a facelift. Aside from improvements to the station forecourt, further measures have taken place within the town centre, including the reconfiguration of the junction of Wimbledon Bridge with Alexandra Road to enable a diagonal pedestrian crossing, new paving, tree planting and the installation of new street furniture.

Measuring 3m high, the Stag sculpture was selected in consultation with residents and was created by local artist Isabelle Southwood. It has been commissioned and paid for separately from ‘Section 106’ money, contributed by a developer as part of an arts fund for the area. The Stag is made from steel, in reference to Wimbledon’s Iron Age history, and will stand on the station forecourt as if it had wandered down the hill, reminding passers-by of the town’s heritage and its relationship with the Common.

Cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: ‘Many improvements have been made to Wimbledon town centre to make it a destination town where people want to live and work. We welcome the chance to support a local artist with a piece of contemporary sculpture which will bring even more character to our beautiful town centre.”

Merton Council cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Nick Draper, said: “I hope all residents and visitors will enjoy the Stag, which will be both an iconic meeting place and focal point for our town centre. I look forward to seeing a big crowd at its unveiling on June 21st.”

Notes to editors:

For more information about Destination Wimbledon, please visit: http://www.merton.gov.uk/community-living/destinationwimbledon

The sculpture will be unveiled at Wimbledon station forecourt, Wimbledon town centre, on Thursday 21 June.

The day’s itinerary will include:

3pm: Dancebites performing

3.05-3.20pm: Speeches by Paul Windsor, Wimbledon Business Forum; Leigh Terrafranca, Wimbledon Resident; Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, and Phil Dominey, South West Trains.

3.30pm: Stag unveiled

3.35pm: Dancebites performing

Free coffees and cakes will be provided.

Section 106 funding

Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows a local planning authority to enter into a legally-binding agreement or planning obligation with a landowner in association with the granting of planning permission. It is often used to support the provision of services and infrastructure, such as highways, recreational facilities, education, health and affordable housing.

ENDS