Creating a high street for 21st century life

18 Nov 2022

Our high streets are changing and so is the way we work and shop. As we move away from long commutes, more and more of us are spending our time and money locally. However, working from home can be rather solitary and I know many people miss the community that can be found working in an office.

That’s why I’m delighted that Oru Intro is now open in what was once BHS. It’s the first stage of Oru Sutton, a new destination for coworking, wellbeing and hospitality that Sutton Council is partnering with Oru Space to create.

With coworking for members and a cafe for everyone, Oru Intro is a place to work and also somewhere to enjoy time with family and friends. For those launching a new business, going freelance or looking for work, Oru is offering free Bounceback Memberships.

I’m really proud to see the project reach this milestone. After buying the space in 2019, Sutton Council appointed Oru to design and run it because we wanted to bring something different to the high street. We want a high street that reflects how we live our lives post-pandemic and attract people to Sutton, meaning more customers for businesses and shops, and more jobs for local people. 

Oru Sutton is just one part of this plan. Last week, the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee approved plans to transform the town centre, which includes replacing the St Nicholas Centre with a better range of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, and a new home for public services in the heart of the high street. 

Creating a high street that’s fit for the future also means tackling climate change. This was the focus of last night’s TEDxSuttonHighStreet event, where more than 100 people came together to look for local solutions to global climate issues. The event is part of our Green Enterprise Partnership, a unique new project to help promote business growth that’s good for the bottom line and for the planet.

Driving strong and fair economic growth in Sutton is one of our key priorities, and Oru Intro is just one part of our plan to ensure a vibrant town centre for residents and businesses alike. 

Councillor Ruth Dombey

Leader of Sutton Council