Surrey Heath Borough Council announces vision for redevelopment of London Road site, Camberley

Surrey Heath Borough Council recently announced, [See London Road development site overview below the text – to expand the document, click on the upward facing arrow in the bottom right-hand corner].

Camberley Town Centre is currently undergoing an exciting regeneration programme led by Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC).

To date SHBC has invested £140 million into Camberley; which has already seen the acquisition and subsequent refurbishment of The Square shopping centre, substantial projects to improve the roads, pavements and public realm areas in the High Street and the redevelopment work that is about to commence converting Ashwood House into 116 high quality residential apartments.

The next stage of regenerating Camberley is investing in and improving the area along London Road (A30) between the High Street and Park Street.  To start this process SHBC will be looking to secure a development partner to deliver a major redevelopment of this gateway site.

Karen Whelan, CEO, SHBC said; “Camberley is rapidly transforming into a modern and improved place to live, do business and shop.  We envisage this is the start of a really exciting new development for London Road which will offer both residential and business opportunities.  The redevelopment of this site will also greatly improve the gateway to our town.”

This spring SHBC will be starting the formal process of selecting a development partner. Alongside this the Council is likely to be required to progress assembly of the site. SHBC have contacted the current owners and tenants currently occupying the buildings within the site and will be working with them to ensure affected businesses are relocated within the town wherever possible, including the opportunity to relocate temporarily if they would like to be part of the new development. We will keep everyone affected informed at each stage of the process.

Cllr Moira Gibson, Leader of the Council added; “It has been a key objective of the Council to drive forward and deliver positive change and regeneration projects to Camberley town centre.  The redevelopment of this key quarter will ensure the Council’s dynamic renewal work encompasses the entire town centre bringing improved economic prosperity to Camberley and all of Surrey Heath.”

Montagu Evans is advising Surrey Heath BC. Alan Harris, Partner and Head of Development at Montagu Evans, said: “Local authority-led regeneration is increasingly essential for the long term future of urban centres. Surrey Heath BC is leading the way in Camberley, taking a town-wide view, identifying key sites and creating strong partnerships that will help deliver high quality development. The 5-acre London Road site is a significant opportunity and we are expecting considerable interest in taking it forward.”

Surrey Heath award £12,000 to community groups

Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced the distribution of community fund grants,

Local not-for profit groups are to receive more than £12,000 from Surrey Heath Borough Council through its Community Fund Grant Scheme (CFGS). The scheme provides grants of up to £25,000 to assist groups and organisations in Surrey Heath if funding is needed towards projects benefitting local communities.

On 6 March, the Council’s Executive awarded a total of £12,981 in grant funding to support St Mary’s Nursery, Camberley, Sparklers Charity, The Camberley Society and Surrey Youth Focus.

  • St Mary’s Nursery, based at Watchetts Recreation Ground, will receive £10,000 to provide a new outdoor play area;
  • Sparklers Charity, based in Deepcut, will receive £1,481 to provide 10 holiday playgroups for children, young people and families with special needs who live in the Surrey Heath area;
  • The Camberley Society were awarded funding towards the cost of launching community arts and crafts festival Camfest 2018, with the CFGS agreeing to match the amount raised by The Camberley Society up to a total of £1,000;
  • Surrey Youth Focus will receive £500 to delivera new Youth Social Action ‘Youth Soup’ project, giving 14-24 year-olds the opportunity to suggest and deliver improvements to their local community.

Members also resolved to support the making of a grant of £9,175 to The Hope Hub – a new initiative consisting of partners from local faith organisations which focuses on assisting homeless people, those at risk of homelessness, and those who are unemployed and vulnerable.

The initiative aims to provides daytime support for those affected, via a central Camberley location, and the grant would cover the purchase of equipment for this new service.

The award of this grant is subject to the Executive Head of Regulatory, Jenny Rickard, being satisfied that the project and accommodation can be delivered, after consultation with the Leader of the Council Cllr Moira Gibson, and Corporate Portfolio Holder Cllr Josephine Hawkins.

Cllr Hawkins said: “We are pleased to support these projects with grants. Many residents of Surrey Heath benefit from the valuable services provided by local community groups. I encourage local groups with beneficial projects who may need assistance to get in touch and find out if they can apply for a grant.”

Applications to the Community Fund Grant scheme are considered twice a year, with deadlines of 30 June and 31 December. Full details of the scheme:

Surrey Heath Business Awards 2018 winners announced

Surrey Heath Borough Council announced,

The winners of the Surrey Heath Business Awards 2018 have been announced at a ceremony at Camberley Theatre.

More than 150 delegates attended the awards at Camberley Theatre on Friday 9th March, hosted by the Surrey Heath Business Breakfast event. Returning for a fifth year, the awards showcase the achievements of businesses big and small, spanning the length and breadth of Surrey Heath, from Windlesham to Frimley, and Chobham to Camberley.

Recognising the great people and ideas that keep the local economy thriving, the shortlist featured a wide range of industries and professions, from sportswear to science, and optometry to dance.

The six categories and their winners were:

  • Business Innovation of the Year – Awarding creativity with measurable results.
    • Winner: Planet Ocean Ltd
  • Developing Talent – Recognising businesses that provide opportunities for personal development.
    • Winner: Stewart and Co
  • Community Action – Recognising organisations who take responsibility towards the community and the environment.
    • Winner: Specsavers Camberley
  • Kevin Cantlon Award for Best Small/Medium Sized Business  – Spotlighting businesses with less than 250 employees.
    • Best Small-Sized Business
    • Winner: Legacy Performance Sports Wear
    • Best Medium-Sized Business
    • Winner: Fins Swimming Club
      • The Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award is newly named in honour of Kevin Cantlon, SHBC Economic Development Officer, who sadly passed away in 2017. Renaming the award is our tribute to his work within local business and a reflection of the respect that our business community had for Kevin. This award in particular was very close to his heart.
  • This year also saw a new award, The Star of The Year, which was voted for by the public.
    • Winner: Rachel Bell, The Secret Stage School
  • Finally, the Outstanding Achievement Award was selected by the judging panel and awarded to a company who has significantly contributed to the growth and success of the Surrey Heath community over a number of years.
    • Winner: Eli Lilly

Each winner received a specially commissioned award. Deputy Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, Cllr Richard Brooks said:

‘This event is key in recognising the borough’s best businesses, but also in encouraging and supporting local firms who contribute so much to the Surrey Heath economy. With such a wide range of businesses entering the various categories, we were delighted by the quality of the submissions, which made the judging process all the more difficult.

This successful event is enjoyed and appreciated by the many firms who attend, and of course our congratulations go to all the winners!’

Surrey Heath Museum to close after Easter

Over 30 interested and concerned residents were in attendance at a meeting of the Executive Committee of Surrey Heath Borough Council on Tuesday 6th March, where the future of Surrey Heath Heritage Services was discussed.

The plans for the future, as described in the council press release below, does not include a museum. While not stating the word closure, it says, “Whilst we will not be operating our museum service from the current site after the Easter holiday”, which means the same thing.

I’ll write more about the council’s decision in the coming days and weeks. My photo of one the many successful Museum exhibitions.

At a meeting of the Executive of Surrey Heath Borough Council last night (Tuesday 6 March) Councillors voted to adopt the changes proposed for Surrey Heath Heritage Services.  This followed a consultation about the future of Surrey Heath Museum and Heritage Services, which ran for several months at the end of last year.

The Council engaged with a wide variety of community groups and individuals, receiving more than 400 responses.  Feedback from regular museum visitors and local historical societies as part of the User Group discussion process confirmed the view that the museum is not in the right location. This was supported by declining visitor numbers to the premises at Surrey Heath House, Camberley, which was launched as a temporary site in 1986.

Feedback from the consultation has informed plans for the future of Heritage Services which include expanding the existing programme of events, workshops, walks and talks, outreach work with schools and other community groups and research.

Whilst we will not be operating our museum service from the current site after the Easter holidays, the Executive also approved proposals for further development of the service to include an improved online catalogue of the collection, a display in reception at Surrey Heath House; more temporary exhibitions and events at different locations around the Borough, and an extended exhibition in Camberley Town Centre throughout the summer – bringing heritage into the heart of our community, and helping reach new and wider audiences across Surrey Heath and beyond.

Surrey Heath Borough Council will continue to strive for Arts Council Accreditation for the collection, and is delighted that the mission statement which is essential to this process was unanimously agreed by the Executive:  “Surrey Heath Heritage Services exist to preserve, manage and document the heritage of this Borough. We will promote our unique heritage by public exhibitions, events, outreach and research access.”

Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Business Cllr Craig Fennell said: “The history of this Borough remains of paramount importance but we must stay relevant to what future generations want from a heritage service, and continue to reach a wider community.  These proposals will breathe new life into the service – the thousands of artefacts in the collection will tell the story of our past to current and future generations, enabling a wider audience to enjoy smaller, more frequent exhibitions in easy-to-access locations.”

More information about upcoming exhibitions and events will be available on our website. 

Surrey Heath Council’s answers to questions at #TalkSurreyHeath

Surrey Heath Borough Council released, on Friday 23 February 2018, answers to the unanswered questions from the Facebook Live #TalkSurreyHeath event on January 30th 2018,

The latest #TalkSurreyHeath meeting took place at Surrey Heath House on 30 January 2018.  You find out more and watch the broadcast again here.

Due to the one hour duration of the broadcast the panel unfortunately did not have enough time to answer all the questions submitted. These questions and SHBC’s replies are below. We will be running another #TalkSurreyHeath event in Spring 2018.

What are you doing about the homeless?  
Council services are focussed on homelessness prevention so we stop this happening in many cases by working with landlords to address the problems that tenants are encountering.

When people become homeless we have a case worker to work with them to understand why they are homeless as it is important the reasons why someone became homeless are addressed so that as we help them to move back into accommodation they are able to sustain the tenancy.

We are working with local community groups to see what more we can do collectively to support homeless people in the Borough. The Council is now also considering whether it needs to begin to build its own housing.

When will schools have better SENCO for Camberley children that have disabilities?  There are many schools unable to cope to children with ADHD and autism. 
This is a matter for Surrey County Council not SHBC.

Good evening, can anyone update on the planned proposal for South Western Railway to remove our direct line services to and from London Waterloo in the peak time morning and evening? This is devastating blow to local transport, and the proposed changes will drive traffic to Sunningdale for a decent service. 
The Council will continue to lobby for the service to be maintained and is talking to the new franchisee South Western Railway about this.

What has happened to the asset value of The Square shopping centre since acquisition? 
The Square will be valued as part of our accounts. However as has been said before that Council purchased the Square with the intention of holding it for the long term for revenue and investment rather than looking to make immediate capital gains

Can you offer a view on recent trading in The Square?  
The overall spend in the centre is holding steady and footfall is performing slightly better than the national average. The feedback we are getting from our agents is that this has halted a decline and is as a result of the Council’s investment both directly in the centre and in the wider Town Centre.

How bad would it need to get before you shut the Theatre? What an opportunity for redevelopment! 
The Theatre is part of the wider offer of the Town centre. As such it plays an important role in attracting visitors who go on to spend in the town. As such it is an investment in the wider town centre assets that the Council now has a major financial stake in. We are looking for ways to continually improve the offer to ensure long term economic sustainability. Cultural activities are an important element of this.

Improvements have been made to the running of the theatre to ensure that it is as cost efficient as possible. We would urge more residents to visit the theatre – it is a real asset for Camberley – as only this will ensure its long term sustainability.

When do you believe that Deepcut will be started or completed?  
Work on roads, the village green and pond and clearance of some trees is already underway. A planning application went to Committee on 8 February for the first phase and we expect construction to start on those homes this year.

Do you agree that the Council should not have promoted Fairoaks until we understand the impact of Longcross? 
The Council has to explore all options for delivering new housing in the Borough. This site is known to be available for development and the bid to the Garden Village project was for funding to assist the Council in understanding whether this site might have potential for housing. In respect of Longcross, there is a wider feasibility study underway to look at the impact of that site together with all potential development proposals along the A320, including Fairoaks.

Continue reading

Surrey Heath announce Business Awards shortlist

Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced the shortlist for Surrey Heath Business Awards, the winners of which will be announced at the Surrey Heath Business Breakfast at Camberley Theatre on March 9th, 

The judging panel for this year’s Surrey Heath Business Awards sat for a full day to go through all the nominations this week and have now drawn up the short list. The panel was made up of Karen Whelan (Surrey Heath Borough Council Chief Executive), Paul Marcus (M.D. of Eagle Radio), Sarah Croke (Owner at Weddings & Events at The Pottery and Vice Chairman of  the Frimley Business Association) and Charlie Thompson (The Massage Company Founder and Operations Director). The Massage Company  were last year’s winners of  the Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award.

Karen Whelan said ‘Once again we had a very hard day going through all the fantastic Surrey Heath Business Award nominations, to decide on the short list. It was so encouraging to see great examples of the brilliant businesses we have in the Borough. Well done to all who made the short list and thank you to all those companies who applied. I’d also like to thank all the judges for giving up their time. It was great to have Surrey Heath business owners and previous winners of the awards on the panel this year.’ The short list is:

Business Innovation

  • Consentricare
  • Planet Ocean Ltd
  • Glo Hair Salon

Developing Talent

  • Places for People
  • Platinum Care Solutions
  • Stewart and Co

Community Action

  • Specsavers Camberley
  • Frimley Business Association
  • Sebastian  Action Trust

Kevin Cantlon Award for Best Small/Medium Sized Business

  • Betty & Claude
  • Knights Ceremonies
  • Legacy Performance Sports Wear
  • Frequency Design Ltd
  • Fins Swimming Club

This year sees a new award, The Star of The Year, which is voted for by the public and is open until noon on Friday 23rd February. To see the nominees and place your vote, or to register to attend or exhibit, please visit:

The Best Small / Medium Sized Business Award is newly named in honour of Kevin Cantlon, SHBC Economic Development Officer, who sadly passed away in 2017. Renaming the award is our tribute to his work within local business and a reflection of the respect that our business community had for Kevin. This award in particular was very close to his heart.

There is also an award for Outstanding Achievement.  This award is selected by the judging panel, it will celebrate a company, organisation or individual who has significantly contributed to the growth and success of the Surrey Heath business community over a number of years.

The winners will be announced and presented with their awards at the Business Breakfast Business Awards taking place at Camberley Theatre on March 9th.

Please contact  01276 707308 for more details.

Council Tax levels for 2018/19, for Parish, Borough, and County Councils, and Police & Crime Commissioner

In the council papers of Surrey Heath Borough Council meeting of its Full Council on 21st February 2018 are the details of the Council Tax changes for 2018/19 for Parish Councils, Borough Council, Surrey County Council, and Police and Crime Commissioner.

I know the numbers in the council papers can appear impenetrable. All I’m doing is providing an extract from the Council Papers. SEE HERE to read more,