Camberley High Street revitalisation funding approved

Surrey Heath Borough Council is very pleased to announce that it has secured funding from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to improve the High Street and public spaces in Camberley Town Centre.

SHBC has been awarded a £3.5 million grant from Enterprise M3’s Local Growth Fund. The LEP supports economic growth of areas in the M3 corridor – stretching from Staines-upon-Thames to the New Forest, covering mid to North Hampshire, as well as South and West Surrey.  SHBC will add funds of £900k, so the total budget for the project is £4.4 million.

The scheme is an integral part of the strategy to develop Camberley as a major commercial centre.    It is estimated that the improvements could lead to an increase in the number of people coming into the town centre by 20% over a 10 year period. Other potential economic benefits expected to be generated by the scheme include more 100 jobs, with a total value of over £14m.

In addition to substantial structural improvement to The High Street, which will include widening the pavements, improving road and pavement surfaces; the project will also incorporate installation of public art and improved public seating and walkways in Knoll Walk and Princess Way.

Continue reading

Visit Camberley for your Christmas shopping

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce the first phase of renovations to The Square in Camberley is complete in time for Christmas.

If you have been shopping in Camberley recently you may have noticed The Square shopping centre is undergoing a transformation.

Grace Reynold’s walk has been the focus of the first phase of Surrey Heath Borough Council’s £8 million refurbishment investment in The Square.  It now features new flooring, shop fronts, fresh new lighting and facades.  In addition most of the old facades throughout the shopping centre have been removed.  The works will now pause for Christmas trading and begin again in January 2018.

Karen Whelan, Chief Executive SHBC said, “It’s great to see the substantial work in The Square coming together to provide a much needed update to Grace Reynold’s Walk.  The completion of this section gives us a real idea of how much the shopping centre will be improved when the project finishes next year.  The Square is becoming a much brighter place to shop and meet friends.”

The Square was purchased by SHBC in 2016.  It is a 480,000 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.

SHBC has made a significant investment in Camberley Town Centre and also has plans to regenerate other areas of the town including The High Street, Public Realm areas and London Road.  You can find out more on the council’s website.

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.