‘Off the Grid’ – a new artisan shop in The Square, Camberley

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce that,

‘Off the Grid’ is a new independent pop up shop which has opened in The Square shopping centre on Grace Reynolds Walk for the Christmas period.  It has distinctive and beautiful pieces for sale produced by speciality local artisans.

Cllr Moira Gibson, Leader, Surrey Heath Borough Council said; “Surrey Heath Borough Council has led this project to provide our local small artisan businesses the opportunity to sell their products in a busy town centre location.

The council’s ownership of The Square is enabling us to provide these community focused initiatives, the Ping Pong parlour was another example of utilising units to provide something different and beneficial to Camberley.”

Karen Whelan, CEO, Surrey Heath Borough Council said; “We are so pleased that we are able to provide this opportunity to these unique businesses.  The products available in ‘Off the Grid’ are wonderful and very high quality, the shop is well worth a visit.

The Square shopping centre is also nearing completion of the first phase of its refurbishment.  The new lighting features and the refreshing new light tones of the flooring and décor mean The Square is a much lighter brighter place to visit, shop and enjoy.  The centre also has a really strong retail offer ready for Christmas with House of Fraser, Off the Grid, Jack Wills and many more great brands.”

You will find the following suppliers in ‘Off the Grid’ with more to join soon, Oyster Moon, Mariposa Furnishings, Signare, Lucy With Diamonds, SinahCommon Honey, A Little Trinket, Ashley Jones Cards, Karenza & Co, Rebecca Williams Ceramics, Ellie Reader, and Megan Davies.

‘Off the Grid’ will be open until mid-January 2019. A special opening event is taking place this evening, Thursday 15 November,  6.0 pm until 8.0 pm. Find ‘Off the Grid’ on Instagram – @offthegridcamberley.

Camberley set to inspire – Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) is committed to supporting and regenerating Camberley town centre.  SHBC’s investments have already seen the unique acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership.  Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.  A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments, with proposals to re-deliver new business space.

SHBC is also currently in the process of sourcing an innovative developer partner for the London Road site.  Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a mixed-use development.

The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience.   www.camberleybeinspired.com.

Nutcracker Ballet Weekend in Camberley’s The Square on 3rd & 4th November

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce special events in The Square shopping centre in Camberley,

Bring your family to our magical ballet weekend on 3 and 4 November, held at Cambridge Square (outside House of Fraser) in The Square shopping centre.

A brand new dance piece, created especially for Camberley featuring professional dancers from Camberley’s Bluebell Ballet School, will be showing at intervals throughout the day.

The event will provide:
• The opportunity for your child to learn basic ballet steps, led by our professional choreographer and dancers
• Colouring In and craft activities
• Photo opportunity with ballerinas and toy soldiers

Timings:
• 11.0am: The Nutcracker Dance (this will be performed by our professional dancers)
• 11.30am: Storytelling, The Nutcracker
• 11.45am: Bluebell Ballet performance
• 12.15pm: Dance Workshop
• 1.0pm: The Nutcracker Dance (we invite those who have done the workshop to join in the show)
• 2.0pm: Storytelling, The Nutcracker
• 2.15pm: Bluebell Ballet performance
• 2.45pm: Craft Session – Make mice ears to wear in our final show!
• 3.15pm: Dance Workshop (join in and take part in our final show)
• 4.0pm: The Nutcracker Dance (led by our dancers and we invite those who have joined in the workshop or craft activity to join in)

Why not come dressed up? Prizes for the best dressed!

The Vienna Festival Ballet company is bringing the Nutcracker ballet to Camberley Theatre on Friday 23 November. Find out more and book tickets https://www.camberleytheatre.co.uk/events/vienna-festival-ballet-nutcracker

Camberley set to inspire
Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) is committed to supporting and regenerating Camberley town centre. SHBC’s investments have already seen the unique acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership. Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.

A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments, with proposals to re-deliver new business space.

SHBC is also currently in the process of sourcing an innovative developer partner for the London Road site. Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a mixed-use development.

The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience.

Poppy display in The Square shopping centre, Camberley

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce that,

To mark Camberley’s Royal British Legion Poppy Launch day this Saturday, 27 October 2018 and Remembrance Sunday, 11 November 2018, The Square has a beautiful display of poppies in Cambridge Square.

This is part of a series of ceiling art displays that will feature in Cambridge Square.  The poppies have replaced the umbrellas that were on display previously. A new display will go up in December in time for Christmas.

Camberley set to inspire   

Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) is committed to supporting and regenerating Camberley town centre.

SHBC’s investments have already seen the unique acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership.  Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.

A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments, with proposals to re-deliver new business space.

SHBC is also currently in the process of sourcing an innovative developer partner for the London Road site.  Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a mixed-use development.

The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience.

A new home for Surrey Heath Museum

Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced a new home for its museum

Surrey Heath Museum is to become part of a new ‘Heritage Hub’ in the centre of Camberley, due to open in June. 


The Museum will join with Surrey Heath Museum Action Group and Surrey Heath Archaeology Trust to create the hub in the Heritage Gallery of The Square shopping centre.  


The museum space, on the ground floor, will involve a ‘mini museum’ display, recreations of a WWI and WWII home, and include a shop and research area. 


There will also be a temporary exhibition area – planned exhibitions include ‘What Lies Beneath’ (June to September), followed by ‘The Battles of the First World War’ (October to December).  


The existing Heritage Gallery will move to the upper floor, with displays for local groups and societies.  
Heritage staff will be frequently present and available at the new hub.   


The existing Heritage Gallery unit is currently closed for this transformation to take place, and will reopen on Saturday 30 June. 
This will coincide with Camfest, the community arts and crafts festival organised by the Camberley Society which runs from 29 June to 1 July.  


Surrey Heath Heritage Services are holding a public meeting where they invite members of the public to come along and find out more about plans for the refreshed Heritage Service on Thursday 24 May at Camberley Theatre at 7pm. All welcome! 


News of Surrey Heath Museum’s involvement in the ‘Heritage Hub’ follows the decision taken by the Council’s Executive earlier this year to adopt 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. 
Feedback included the view that the previous museum site at Surrey Heath House on Knoll Road, Camberley was not in the right location. 


This site was subsequently closed to the public in mid-April, with plans for the future development of the service to include more temporary exhibitions and events at different locations around the Borough – bringing heritage into the heart of our community, and helping reach new and wider audiences across Surrey Heath and beyond.    


These include plans for a Heritage Services display in the Main Square of The Square during the summer, and a Surrey Heath Museum ‘showcase area’ in Camberley Library from July. 
As a result of these changes, research enquiries will be put on hold until June 2018. 


The museum’s popular events programme will continue, including toddler/children’s holiday sessions, to be held in the Heritage Hub, and heritage walks. The popular Reminiscence and Education Programme also goes from strength to strength. 
More info: www.surreyheath.gov.uk/museum 

Surrey Heath report positive improvement from property investments

Surrey Heath Borough Council issued this press release on their investment performance [click on image to expand],

Surrey Heath Borough Council has adopted a strategy of delivering efficiency and increasing income in order for it to be able to maintain services against a backdrop of reduced central government funding.

The Council has borrowed money to invest in property within the Borough, not only to generate an income to pay for services, but also to further its regeneration and economic development aims.

A recent report to Councillors indicated that so far this investment strategy was paying off. The Council had expected to receive a £1.5m contribution to its budget, but performance has been better than predicted.

Members heard that net income since ownership for The Square was 5% ahead of budget, and for the six months to 30 September 2017 almost 15% ahead of budget for the industrial estates the Council owns.

The increased income for The Square is helping to fund the extensive refurbishment of the centre. This should result in returns increasing further, or at least being maintained, in what is a very competitive market.

Phase 1 of The Square refurbishment covering Grace Reynolds Walk has now been completed on time and to budget (More info). Works on the rest of the centre will restart after Christmas.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Moira Gibson said: “We are encouraged by these latest reports from our advisers. The positive results contribute to overall income, and emphasise the importance of our property investments in helping to achieve the Council’s aim of continuing to offer as wide a range of services as possible in the face of Government funding cuts.”

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.