The UK’s largest sporting event brings £30 million to the local economy
The London Borough of Merton is in south-west London, formed in 1965 when the Surrey towns of Mitcham, Wimbledon, Merton and Morden were merged to become a London Borough. It is mainly suburban with high levels of people commuting in and out of central London.
Merton is home to the world’s oldest tennis tournament: Wimbledon. During the tournament fortnight, around 500,000 people attend contributing around £30 million to the economy. It was in the early 90’s that these figures really took off, with profits trebling between 1990 and 1994, a combined effect of the new satellite TV age and the success of Wimbledon’s own marketing and merchandising, the second biggest source of income behind TV ahead of ticket sales.
Merton borough had a population of 199,693 in the 2011 Census, this shows that the population has continued to grow, with an increase of 11,785 or 6.3% over 10 years. Average property prices in Merton are slightly below the London average price by a little over 1% and have risen by 15.7% in the last year. These prices still leave room for potentially good property investment profits. A big commuter town Wimbledon is already superbly connected but if current plans for Crossrail 2 are approved the area’s desirability will increase exponentially as will property prices. That means Merton property investment is ideal if you’re looking for a London area for your portfolio.
Economy & Employment
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club is a large employer in Merton that makes a massive contribution to the economy.
Almost half of Merton’s workforce is employed in the distribution, hotels, restaurants, banking, finance and insurance sectors,
with around two‐thirds of the workers being employed in full‐time positions.
Workers in the borough are increasingly employed by micro and small businesses.
There has also been a growth of employees in the large business. However, the number of new businesses forming is progressing at a higher rate than neighbouring boroughs, along with better rates of business survival.
Wimbledon’s tennis tournament attracts more than 500,000 spectators per year. The tournament requires more than 6,000 members of working staff. The Wimbledon Tennis Grand Slam event contributes greatly to the economy with Merton making around £30-million pounds from the tournament.
There are several industrial parks across the borough including Mitcham’s Willow Lane which employs more than 2,500 people and Wimbledon’s Weir Road which employs around 260.
Colliers Wood is undergoing massive multimillion pound regeneration.
The proposed Crossrail 2 project intends to forge greater links between north and south London. The service intends to run from New Southgate via Euston and Victoria, Chelsea and Tooting to Wimbledon. From there it will split into a number of regional branches. The implications for Wimbledon are huge should the project secure approval.
In July 2014 Merton council gave the green light for the creation of a master plan which could see regeneration and 1,200 new homes built in three areas.
The FutureMerton initiative is investing £6m into developing Mitcham’s existing retail and business space while improving transport links and open spaces OneMitcham is a town centre project which aims to rejuvenate Mitcham’s market areas.
£3.6m of regeneration funds have been earmarked for use in Colliers Wood to be spent on everything from transport to retail & arts. Colliers Wood Tower once voted London’s ugliest building will be completely revamped providing 150 homes and business premises.
Mitcham’s Willow Lane Industrial Estate has its own Business Improvement District which has attracted £50,000 of funding to invest in the estate on top of a recent £40,000 for state-of-the-art security equipment.
Air: Heathrow is located approximately 27 miles from Merton with easy access via the A3 and M25. Gatwick Airport can also be reached in under an hour by car.
Rail: Merton is served by a wide range of National Rail stations across the borough, as well as the London Underground’s northern line and district line on the Wimbledon branch.
Road: Situated on the A3, Merton has excellent access to the M25’s junction 10.
Bus: The borough is well served by buses, both for local services and further afield to surrounding boroughs.
Tram: The borough is also served by several London Tramlink stops from Wimbledon, that serves Croydon, New Addington, Elmers End and Beckenham.
Merton borough has 46 Primary Schools, 8 secondary schools, 3 special schools, 12 independent schools and 2 independent special schools.
Notable institutions include:
Bishop Gilpin Church of England Primary School scored 100% in all areas according to 2014 league tables.
King’s College School, an independent day school in Wimbledon, was the 2nd best school in the UK for A-level results, 2014.
Research by Knight Frank has revealed that the average value of a home within a mile of one of the top performing schools in England is up to 30% higher than average values in the surrounding area.
Further Education: South Thames College. It is one of the largest further education colleges in London, having recently merged with Merton College and has centres based in the south west of London, with the main centres in Wandsworth, Merton & Tooting. South Thames College has undergone significant improvements with over £140 million invested in recent years. The college is also investing £5.7 million in a new Hospitality and Catering Academy at the Merton Campus, scheduled to be operational from September 2014.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping & Dining: Wimbledon is home to Centre Court, a superb shopping centre with a host of well-known brand names occupying its retail space from H&M, H. Samuel, River Island to Oasis. Wimbledon is one of the UK’s fastest-growing retail centres with Crossrail 2 on the cards the area’s popularity as a shopping destination will surely grow.
Merton Abbey Mills is an arts & crafts village on the River Wandle with a weekend outdoor market often featuring live music as well as a miniature children’s theatre.
Culture & Sport: The largest mosque in western Europe was opened in Morden in 2003. The £5.5 million Baitul Futuh mosque and can accommodate 10,000 people. The mosque has been voted in the top 50 in the world by Spectator magazine.
Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium is the largest and most successful dog racing track in the country. The stadium has excellent facilities and attracts people from right across London.
Green Spaces: Mitcham Common has a range of habitats here with woodland and scrub, ponds and grassland. Wimbledon Common, the fictitious home of much-loved children’s TV characters The Wombles, also features vast swathes of open space. Nearby Cannizaro Park features 35 acres in the grounds of a Grade II listed estate. It often hosts open-air events in the summer months.