Bringing Sutton High Street’s historic buildings back to life

22 Jun 2023

Our vision for Sutton Town Centre took another step forward this week, as councillors approved exciting plans to restore and bring key buildings back to life. 

Celebrating our history

I love our town centre’s varied history. Originally known as Sudtone, we had just 27 houses in the Domesday Book. Fast forward 700 years and we were a key point on the road to Brighton, bringing coaching houses and highwaymen! Fast forward a little more, and the Rolling Stones were discovered in one of our pubs. This history makes Sutton unique.

More recently, our high street has faced the same difficulties as those all over the country. Online shopping and the pandemic have led to more empty shops and buildings in desperate need of repair, challenging us to rethink how we use these spaces and act to preserve them. 

Creating a high street for the future 

That’s why we’re using our Future High Streets funding from the Government to deliver four projects that will bring buildings back to life and create a high street fit for the 21st century. 

The projects, approved by the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee on Monday, are:

  • The Northern Gateway. Creating a new home for Sutton College at 246-254 High Street, the historic white building opposite ASDA, and much-needed new council homes.  
  • 137-145 High Street. Refurbishing these two historic buildings, the old Topshop and Vision Express shops, into retail and business space.
  • Oru Sutton. Extending the co-working and wellbeing space to include a rooftop bar and restaurant with panoramic views of London, retail space for small businesses and an entrance from Throwley Way, bringing the old BHS store above H&M back into use.
  • Throwley Yard. Delivering the cinema and community arts venue early next year, creating a new destination for culture in Sutton in what was once Chicago’s nightclub. 

At the Northern Gateway, I’m especially proud that we’ll be building first-class educational facilities and more genuinely affordable homes, while fully restoring the building’s historic brick facade. This means we can celebrate our unique heritage while creating a space that reflects and supports the modern, dynamic community we are today. 

Together with our plans for the St Nicholas Centre, these projects will transform our high street and create a vibrant, sustainable town centre for years to come. 

Construction work will be starting on each of the four projects in the coming months, so do look out for changes around the town centre. I can't wait to see them become reality.

Councillor Ruth Dombey
Leader of the Council