In December 2020 West Berkshire Council announced the appointment of a multi-disciplinary team to undertake a major new study into the future uses of Newbury Town Centre. Led by HemingwayDesign, the team includes New Masterplanning, GL Hearn and Urban Movement.The study started with an online survey (details below) to engage with the local community and enable them to give their views on how Newbury town centre could be improved to make it a better place for residents, businesses and over stakeholders. Around 2,500 people have already completed the 10 minute survey and the Council is keen to hear more views of younger people, so that the town can be shaped to incorporate their needs – now and for the future.
Following the results of the survey, the study will be developed over nine months to outline a vision for Newbury’s future and a proposed masterplan of how the town centre can evolve to meet this aim. This study forms a key part of the Council's robust response to the pandemic and will have a unique role to play for businesses, residents and other stakeholders.
The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of strong community links, and the council has invited everyone with an interest in the town to have their say and be part of the conversation about its future. The study 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.
Speaking about the upcoming and future work, Councillor Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said:
“West Berkshire Council and HemingwayDesign need to further understand and provide solutions for some of the most important issues that affect Newbury’s local communities. These factors include a stronger economy, improved public health, protection of the most vulnerable, equality of opportunity, better stewardship of the natural environment, and a stronger sense of community.
“I’m delighted that so many people have already taken the time to complete the online survey – providing us with valuable insight into the views of the local community.
“Newbury has a lot to offer already, with its mix of green spaces, independent shops and strong cultural heritage. The majority of respondents thought that Newbury has the potential to be an even better place to live work and learn. We are really keen to hear the views of younger people so we can ensure that future planning takes into consideration their needs – that’s why we have extended the deadline to complete the survey to 31 January 2021.”
The Newbury town centre masterplan survey will be open until 23:59 on 31 January. The team will then review the feedback and report back and outline next steps in this process.
The Newbury town centre survey can be found at www.newburytowncentremasterplan.co.uk/
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