Glorious Suburbs

Improvements to public spaces and shop fronts helped relaunch and redefine two town centres in Sutton.

Worcester Park and North Cheam are two town centres in south London. These high streets had lost much of their retail trade to big box retailers and internet shopping, and generally struggled to transition to a more diverse and sustainable business model. The handsome Art Deco terraces which line their pavements are evidence of more prosperous times during the last century.

Sutton Council’s high street regeneration programme sought to re-launch two ‘Glorious Suburbs’ with comprehensive public space and shopfront improvements. Public consultation and events around two pop-up shops were intended to re-kindle the relationship between local people and their high street.

In Worcester Park, works focussed on enhancing its southern gateway. Extensive restoration works to a curving art deco terrace were designed to boost the night time economy, complemented by bold neon signs which prompted locals to re-name the street corner ‘Mini Times Square’.

In North Cheam, the distinct mock Tudor terraces with their large forecourts are a defining part of the identity of the place. We removed car parking which blocked out the view of shop frontages, built rain gardens, installed new illuminated signs, re-painted the buildings and designed wheeled display furniture to draw retail activity out onto the forecourts.

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