Published: Friday, 16th December 2016

Royal Borough funded programme improves shopping experience in Abbey Wood.

The Wilton Road Improvement Programme, developed and funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and London Borough of Bexley, in partnership with the Greater London Authority, supported 13 independent businesses to modernise their business methods and physical appeal.

Improvements based on residents' feedback

The programme included shop front improvements, redecoration and support with brand identity, food hygiene, business presentation and marketing. An online business directory was created and a newly formed business association delivered.

The programme was influenced by feedback given during a community consultation held in the summer of 2015. New and existing residents wanted to see a more contemporary retail offer, an improved sense of place and more attractive public space.

'Help boost trade'

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Ward Councillor for Abbey Wood, said: "Abbey Wood is undergoing some fantastic improvements at the moment and with the coming of the Elizabeth line (Crossrail) right at the heart of this small but vibrant town centre it is vital that our local small businesses look welcoming and appealing to residents and commuters.

"I know many of these businesses very well and am delighted to see the transformation taking place. I have every confidence that these shop front changes will help boost trade for these valued businesses in our community."

Modernising local businesses

The owner of Occasions, Tariq Rachid, has been running his business from Wilton Road for 20 years and was delighted to benefit from a new shop front, internal redecoration and support with marketing and visual display.

Tariq said: "I realised that the smart new Crossrail station would bring a lot of new potential customers and I worked with the project team to update my business to attract them. People who have been walking past my business for years have suddenly realised that I am here!"

Nim Bhadare, who runs Abbey Wood Station Minicabs Ltd and is Chair of the Traders Association said: "I am excited about the future opportunities for businesses in our area.

"Wilton Road has a strong and diverse retail offer and this is more obvious to all now that the shop front improvements have been made. The work to improve the public street areas around Wilton Road, which starts in January 2017, will also help."

Better placed to take advantage of new opportunities

Cllr Linda Bailey, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth at London Borough of Bexley, said: "I am delighted that the work on the shop fronts is complete and I am confident that this, and the support programme that we have provided, will mean businesses in Wilton Road are now better placed to take advantage of the opportunities that the Elizabeth line will bring."

The shop front improvements and business support have been delivered by the specialist company Retail Revival Ltd.

Abbey Wood Village

The area around Wilton Road High Street is known locally as 'Abbey Wood Village' and future plans include using this name on signage more widely as well as a range of further street and public space improvements which will start in January 2017. More information on these can be found on the Your Abbey Wood website.