The Square, a popular name for retail centres in Surrey Heath

The Camberley Eye has asked me, in a comment on this blog,

How well do you feel the name “reflects the history of the area”?

Before I respond, I note that while Surrey Heath Borough Council re-branded  Camberley’s The Mall to The Square, Lightwater too has The Square as it’s retail centre, as does Bagshot also with The Square.

It might, therefore seem a sensible choice for Camberley, to follow Bagshot and Lightwater, both of whom have regular village events in their village Square’s.

Now, back to Camberley Eye’s question. My first reaction to The Square for Camberley is it’s unadventurous. Perhaps I’m being too critical, after all there’s a Square at the centre of the shopping centre.

Farnborough’s covered shopping areas are Princes Mead, and The Meads. Bracknell’s new shopping complex is The Lexicon, Reading has its Oracle shopping centre, and Woking has The Peacocks. Windsor has two, King Edward Court and Windsor Royal.

Apart from Windsor’s shopping centre names having royal connections, I’m unaware of the significance of the names of the other shopping centres.

Therefore, in answer to Camberley Eye, Camberley’s The Square though prosaic, is perfectly adequate. It does have the benefit of fitting in with our military heritage, where the square is a military parade and drill area.

Camberley’s Mall re-branded as ‘The Square’

Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced the new name and logo for Camberley’s main shopping centre today, 5 September 2017.  The new name is ‘The Square’ and the accompanying logo has been designed to give the centre a fresh and modern look complementing the extensive renovations already underway.

The renaming of the shopping centre (formerly called The Mall) marks a significant new chapter for Camberley Town Centre.  The Square, together with The Atrium, The High Street and Park Street, will ensure Camberley is a modern, entertaining and fun place to shop and socialise.

This announcement follows Surrey Heath Borough Council’s investment of £110million in the shopping centre in 2016 as part of its key priority of regenerating Camberley Town Centre.

The Square is a 390,000 sq ft covered shopping centre and is home to more than 150 national and independent retailers. Brands include Smiggle, O2, TopShop, Patisserie Valerie, River Island and Monsoon, anchored by House of Fraser, Boots and Primark, all benefitting from an average weekly footfall of more than 170,000.

The renovations will continue in The Square until late 2018.  The works include fresh new lighting, flooring and facades.  Find out more here.

Councillor Moira Gibson, Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to launch the new name for the shopping centre.  The new name ‘The Square’ reflects the heritage of the area and the contemporary logo ties this together with our ambitious regeneration plans for the town centre.  We will continue to keep you updated as the work continues.”

Karen Whelan, CEO. Surrey Heath Borough Council said, “The Council has made a substantial investment in the town centre to create a vibrant place for our residents and visitors and support a positive future for Camberley.   The new branding is our first big milestone and I’d like to thank everyone who has worked on this project and the retailers in The Square for their continued support.”

The Council also has extensive plans to improve the High Street and other public spaces in Camberley Town Centre.  You can view the proposed plans for the High Street on Surrey Heath Borough Council’s website or as a display in Surrey Heath Museum.  The closing date for your views is 30 September 2017.

Tesco’s reply to Michael Gove’s letter

As promised, I popped along to the Lightwater Post Office to enquire whether Surinder had received a copy of a letter in reply to Michael Gove’s enquiry about Tesco’s intentions in Lightwater.

Here’s the reply. Looks like more objections will result, re parking provision for flats, and opening hours that were restricted in the last planning application.

Michael Gove seeks to discover Tesco’s intentions for its Lightwater vacant land site

I wrote HERE on July 4th 2013 that the planning inspectorate had approved Tesco’s plans for a Tesco Express in Lightwater. Some building materials were delivered to the site in June 2015. Since then, nothing. [photo taken in June 2015, no change since]

Lightwater is a vibrant village centre, all we’re missing is an eatery and a bank. Oh, sorry, we did have a bank and an Indian restaurant, or was it Chinese. That’s so long ago now, I forget.

I said I’d planned to write to Tesco about their intentions. However, a comment from Speedicus Triplicatum, on THIS article, suggested I speak with our estimable postmaster, Surinder Gandhum.

That I did today. Surinder tells me that he spoke recently with Michael Gove about the situation with Tesco Express, and that he has a copy of the letter that Michael has written to Tesco.

Good on Surinder for his tenacity, and Michael for taking on the issue. Guess we’ll continue to have to wait on Tesco.

A photo streetscape of Camberley High Street

The previous article on the Streetscapes photographic exhibition in Camberley, from 2nd-6th August, reminded me of the photos I took recently of Camberley High Street.

My photos were taken on the Saturday of the Camberley Carnival, where the High Street was devoid of vehicles, My photos my not be of the quality for an exhibition, but they are a record of the High Street in June this year.

A big day, No.3 of 3

Quelle surprise! I’m quoted on the front page of the Camberley News & Mail.

No longer being a borough councillor or Mayor, I’d not imagined that my name or what I’ve said would be worthy of the front page of the local newspaper. Heck, even the words on my blog are part of an article in the Camberley News and Mail about the imminent commencement of work to build a Tesco Express store in Lightwater.

I’m happy to be quoted, the contents of my blog are public domain. I don’t even copyright my photos, mainly because I’m a simple happy snapper, not a photographer. Well done to the press for focussing on little ‘ol Lightwater.

One small point, the article in the New and Mail has a photo that’s a few years old. Below is one I took today. Still no sign of work commencing, though Tesco have confirmed their intention to build a Tesco Express. Click of the images below to expand.

Tesco confirm intention to open a store in Lightwater

Our postmaster – Surinder Gandhum – is a tenacious fellow. He’s been pressing Tesco for some time on their intentions for a Tesco Express store in Lightwater. On Monday he received an email reply from Tesco, this is the material part of the note to Surinder, who kindly forwarded it to me

I can confirm that Tesco is committed to opening a store in Lightwater and are looking forward to serving customers in the area.  We are in the process of finalising our build timetable and although I can’t confirm an opening date at this stage we will keep the community updated going forward.  In the meantime we will endeavour to keep the site in a good condition and if you have any questions about this or any other issues please do not hesitate to contact me.