Monday, 2 April 2012

Whitton Uplift: Phase One Almost Complete


A £360,000 project to improve Whitton High Street Phase One has now been completed. Improvements include new lamp columns, shop fronts, information boards, signage for parking, a community art project and new local website.
Uplift is the Council’s programme designed to rejuvenate Whitton, Hampton North, Barnes, Mortlake and Ham.
Over the past six months a series of physical improvements, cultural, online and business-led projects have been carried out in Whitton High Street.
Local Whitton residents are now benefiting from thirty two 1930’s-style lamp columns, replacing the old outdated posts. Fifteen shops have benefited either from total face lifts or improvements to awnings and signage. Two new information boards have been installed for shoppers and visitors, additional parking signage, a community art project and a new local website have also been finalised.
Planning work for Phase Two of the project is now being drawn up.
Cllr Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor, said:
"After the strong response from the All-in-One we were set very clear objectives from Whitton's residents about what they would like to see from the High Street. At the top of the list was a desire to see the look and feel of the High Street updated to attract shoppers and to encourage a more varied shopping experience. With the new lamp columns and the upgraded shopping frontages Whitton is looking fantastic. Interest in the High Street is growing and we now see shops opening rather than closing. With the news of the granting of planning permission at the car showroom site Whitton is definitely on the up!"
Cllr Virginia Morris, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:
“Over 1,000 people in Whitton told us in the All in One survey that they wanted the High Street to be made more attractive and more needed to be done to improve parking and encourage shoppers. This work demonstrates that we have really listened to them.
“By replacing the older street lights in favour of these new striking ones, we hope to create a better atmosphere along the street. Officers worked hard researching the style of the original lamp and found an old photograph that showed Whitton High Street with ornate lighting. We have looked to recreate that glamour so to give Whitton what it deserves. Together with the improvements to the shop fronts, it should lead to the High Street becoming a more enjoyable place to shop for residents, which means better trade for the businesses themselves.”
Cllr Pamela Fleming, Cabinet Member for Communities, Business and Culture, added:
“The All in One gave us a strong idea of what people actually wanted for Whitton, and where we can, we have acted on what they said.
“The Community Art project was a very important part of the Uplift programme. Two artists worked with the community to create work that was inspired by local memories, hopes and aspirations.
“The website and new information signage will also provide a guide to both residents and businesses, as to what is available along the High Street – encouraging more shoppers to the area and a focal point for local events and activities.
“None of this work would have been possible without the support from the local Business Association and local traders. I would like to thank them all for their hard work on this project and I am sure that they are already seeing the benefits.”