IMPROVING YOUR HIGH STREET
Hillingdon People looks at the council’s recent improvement works in Harefield Village and how these are already proving successful for residents and businesses.
The way our high streets look is important in attracting customers and making residents feel proud of where they live.
The council is committed to improving and promoting the borough’s town centres as a great place to live and work, with a £14 million programme of investment over the next four years.
Improvements, funded by Transport for London, have been carried out in Harefield which has included: Resurfacing all roads and raised crossings in the village centre and all pavements in the high street, upgrading lighting, planting new trees, landscaping, refurbishing the existing benches and refurbishing cycle stands and waste bins.
The council has also offered grants to a number of businesses to spruce up their shop fronts following the success of grants in Ruislip Manor, Hayes and Northwood Hills. More than 145 grants have been awarded since 2011.
Harefield Village is a conservation area with many historic buildings, some of which have listed status. Many of the shop fronts have original features which give the area character but unfortunately have been poorly maintained. The council has taken care to ensure the work is being carried out sensitively to retain the village’s history and heritage.
Specialists in shop front design and branding, ‘Designed by Good People’ managed the shop front improvements.
Harefield’s first coffee shop opened in July. Simon Hoy, the owner, who has worked in IT in Uxbridge for the last 15 years said he had always fancied setting up his own business. He has driven through Harefield for 13 years on his way home and realised there was a gap in the market for a coffee shop there and making coffee is one of his passions.
In February he started the shop front grant process with an application to the council. He was told about the scheme by the previous owner. He liaised with the council regarding the grant, planning permission and conservation, as it is a listed building.
He said: “The council were fantastic. The scheme was one of the main reasons why I took the shop. I’m not sure I could have done it myself otherwise. They were so helpful and informative throughout the process. The shop front needed a range of work, including fixing the roof, replacing the awning, repointing the brickwork, fascia work, painting and new signage. We wanted to keep a range of original features outside and inside and brought these back to life.”
The Designed by Good People team worked alongside Simon and his partner Zoe Robinson, to create the new shop front and signage.
Simon said: “Their support helped me the most in this start- up. They totally brought it to life, taking our suggestions on board and every detail had a meaning behind it. There’s still a little bit left to do but we’re nearly there.
“Business has so far been great and residents have been very welcoming. I wanted to create somewhere that the people of Harefield can go to relax, enjoy the atmosphere and what we have to offer, socialise. It’s also a place to bring people together and we want to start holding events here for the community. The shop will have a presence at the upcoming market.”
On the council’s village improvement scheme Simon said: “The village is looking fresher and it really needed work. Investing in the community is amazing and it will hopefully make people proud to live and work here.”
From: September/October 2015 Hillingdon People Magazine.