Exciting projects in Sutton Town Centre

11 Feb 2022

The Council has been working hard to ensure a positive future for Sutton town centre in light of the collapse of many retail outlets from the double hit of the huge switch to online shopping and closures due to the pandemic.

Knowing how important a vibrant town centre is to our local residents, the Council has been finding solutions, such as offering flexible terms to tenants, to repurpose empty properties in the town centre bringing them back into use. 

The first project was the old Royal Bank of Scotland building. This is now occupied by the Sound Lounge, a fantastic social values-based live music performance venue. The building also provides a new home for Successful Sutton (the town centre Business Improvement District) and the Volunteer Centre Sutton.

When BHS collapsed, the Council stepped in to acquire the building and was able to attract H&M to take up residence. The space above H&M is in the process of being turned into Sutton Works, an innovative flexible workspace for small businesses, start-ups and tech companies. It will also include space for local community ventures and projects.

And subject to a committee decision on Monday to confirm the delivery partner, work will be undertaken to transform the old Chicago Rock Café behind Wilkinsons into Throwley Yard, which is set to be a cultural hub in the heart of the high street. The cultural offer proposed includes an independent cinema, food and drink outlets, and flexible space for arts and events.

Finally, the Council purchased the St Nicholas Centre to prevent the loss of this key site to private housing. Since purchasing the site, the Council has invested in improvements to the Centre and is working with a range of public and voluntary sector partners to ensure any empty units are put to use where possible.

The new housing developments around the town centre will also bring increased footfall to support local shops and businesses, as well as including quality commercial space for new businesses and leisure providers.

All this investment into Sutton means that our town centre has a bright future. By helping the town centre diversify its offer beyond retail, Sutton will become a destination for leisure and cultural activity, future-proofing our town centre for many years to come. 

Councillor Jayne McCoy