West Berkshire Council has enlisted designer Wayne Hemingway to lead a new study into the future of Newbury town centre.
The study will be conducted by a team, led by the designer’s company, HemingwayDesign, and also including New Masterplanning, GL Hearn and Urban Movement.
The study will be developed over the next nine months and will outline how the town centre can evolve in the future.
It will take into account the significant changes in the retail and hospitality industries and the impact of Covid-19 in accelerating the review of alternative uses for town centres and public spaces.
As part of the study, residents are being invited to take part in an online survey, which will be open until 17 January.
The team will then review the feedback and report back and outline next steps in this process.
‘There is a societal shift in terms of shopping, work patterns and what people want from their town centres and Newbury has all the ingredients to embrace this shift, move with the times and become an even more inspirational and welcoming place for residents, businesses and their employees and visitors to the town,’ said Mr Hemingway.
‘We believe that positive change is necessary, desirable and within reach. The best way that any design team can start is by listening to the people who know best and that is the residents, businesses and their employees and the wider Newbury community. So, we urge you all to complete the survey, which takes 10 minutes, and provide us your feedback. Please share the survey with your family, and everyone you know – spread the word far and wide. We look forward to hearing from you.’
The leader of West Berkshire Council, Cllr Lynne Doherty, added: ‘When we first decided to bring a partner on board to plan for Newbury’s future, we couldn’t have imagined that we’d be doing so in the midst of a pandemic.
‘It’s clear that Covid has accelerated some of the changes we were already seeing on high streets across the country and we feel that now is precisely the right time to consider how we can sustain the vibrancy of our largest town.’
Photo Credit – Pexels (Pixabay)