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Village Diary

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What has the HWA ever done for me? Part two - businesses.

Thursday 29th November 2018

What has the HWA ever done for me? Part two - businesses.

It is well known that local High Streets across Britain have been under pressure for years from out of town shopping centres, changing demographics and now the Amazon effect of online shopping. Hampton Wick High Street is even more challenged because of its proximity to the shopping magnet of Kingston.

At the moment our High Street is in fairly good health with new businesses opening up and few empty shops. However, since the removal of GazProm there is a lot of empty office space around the village which undoubtedly reduces demand for the shops, cafes, pubs, hairdressers and other businesses on the High Street, particularly during the day.

Of course, we should not forget the economic contribution of the many people who work from home or from small off High Street premises. This is a vital dimension to the economic activity of Hampton Wick, meaning that people are in the village during the day which in itself creates demand for other local businesses as well as reducing pressure on transport.

The HWA puts a great deal of effort into supporting local business activity. We volunteer our time and energy but still we seem to attract few business memberships. So, we’d love to hear from you about new ideas that could be tried and how we can support you in putting them into effect.

As background, here’s what is already being done or has been tried in the recent past:

HWA Business Directory – www.hwbusiness.org.uk.
We have developed a database-driven website directory allowing local residents to browse or search for local suppliers.

This provides publicity to local businesses, regularly promoted through noticeboards on the station platforms and in the village. The links from the Directory are great for the search engine optimisation for local businesses’ websites

The Christmas Carols evening.
This most popular event is held as close as possible to Christmas when people are genuinely in the Christmas spirit.

The event draws many local young families to the village centre.

Hampton Wick Summer Festivals including the Grand Parade.
Following the introduction of the Ride London cycling event in 2013 which necessitated the closing of Hampton Wick High Street for much of the day, the HWA decided to take advantage of the opportunity, to hold an event to attract visitors to the High Street to help offset loss of business resulting from the road closure.We were grateful for the financial assisstance of £2,000 from LBRuT.

They were extremely hard work to organise but the Hampton Wick Festival and Grand Parade events of 2013, 2014 and 2015 brought thousands of people to the High Street on the days of the road closures.

They delivered record takings for those pubs and cafes who chose to open. Unfortunately, the small amount of council funding we relied on was completely withdrawn and the few HWA volunteers who spent man-months on the organisation of the event could no longer take on such commitments.

Parking/Traffic/High Street
Recently we successfully lobbied the council to retain single yellow lines (in place of the double yellow lines the council had been proposing) on Park Road near the junction with the High Street to maintain at least six spaces for use in the evenings by customers of the pubs and restaurants.

A few years ago, we successfully lobbied the council for the installation of additional parking spaces outside the Swan pub.

We have consistently argued for better signage to the Old Bridge Street car park which provides short-term parking for the High Street.

High Street design – We suggested and then successfully lobbied for the pedestrian refuges in the centre of the High Street which make it a safer place by helping to slow traffic and easier to cross the road for pedestrians thus making the High Street a more attractive place for shoppers.

Business networking evenings

These were tried but after the first one or two they attracted very little support from local businesses.

Distribution of ‘Christmas card’ style flyers to every household in Hampton Wick notifying people of pub opening hours over Christmas as well as Church services and holiday emergency services.

The Hampton Wick Passport

Some years ago, we issued individual Hampton Wick Passport cards to local residents who were HWA members and asked local businesses to offer discounts when the Passports were shown. We then publicised the scheme locally through station and village noticeboards, flyers distributed door-to-door, our newsletters, websites and email news services. It was a huge amount of work but after the first year it attracted support from only a few local businesses.

We’d love to do more and would love to hear your ideas.

Please do bear in mind though that the HWA is made up solely of volunteers working for Hampton Wick. We also have our own full-time work commitments and family lives. There is a limit to what we can do.

Also, we must balance the HWA’s objectives to serve all the local community not just the for-profit businesses. For instance, we’ve set up the Friends of Hampton Wick Library, we’re co-organisers of the Hampton Wick Big Picnic, we organise the Hampton Wick Christmas event, we’re working on a major proposal for improvements to Bullen Hall, we monitor and where necessary intervene in local planning issues, we provide local information through newsletters, posters, websites, email news and Twitter, we’ve been supporting the Hampton Wick Remembers WW1 project…

Are you running or working in a business, or are you a self-employed person, in Hampton Wick?

  • Send us ideas on how the HWA can help you
  • Tell us how you or your business would like to be more involved with the local community
  • Join the HWA as a business member
  • Talk to us about joining the HWA committee

Email us at info@hamptonwick.org.uk today, or join online at www.hamptonwick.org.uk

Thank you to the following Hampton Wick businesses who are members:

Creative Collective ♦ Caroline Browne Interior Design ♦ Clean Cut Media ♦ DOWN-TO-EARTH Websites ♦ Estate & Agent ♦ Hampton Wick Health ♦ Home Instead Senior Care Richmond ♦ Jolly Barber ♦ Kelly’s Dance Studio ♦ Martha Pountain Hair Studio ♦ The Painted Furniture Company
♦ Seymour Lodge (Hampton Wick) Residents Association Ltd ♦ Sports Generation ♦ Umame

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