Improvements to Market Square to begin in the Summer

As part of a series of public realm improvement works will begin later this year on Market Square in Stevenage town centre.

The council is making changes to Market Square to make this area more attractive, safer for pedestrians who use this route, and offer greater visibility to the entrances of the Market and St George’s Car Park.

The council will be installing a new and improved footpath with a raised pedestrian crossing, improved lighting and introducing greenery, which will improve and brighten the area, creating a safer and visually improved crossing, whilst still providing designated loading bays for businesses who require deliveries and collections. Pedestrian safety is a priority and these works will create easy pedestrian movement and aid those with mobility issues. Two loading bays will be relocated, and there will be no loss of blue badge parking.

In addition, and in keeping with underpass artworks already displayed or underway within the town, two large scale urban artworks will be introduced to add colour and vibrancy to the area. Hertfordshire based artists MurWalls are working on designs to reflect the area.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “This area is frequently used by pedestrians, including those visiting our much loved Indoor Market.  The space needs an upgrade, and by delivering these changes, we are ensuring that it remains safe, more easily accessible and ties into the fabric of the surrounding areas with bright, colourful artworks. We have worked closely with surrounding businesses, including within the Indoor Market, and will continue to work in collaboration whilst these works are delivered”.

The project is being funded by the Stevenage Development Board through national government’s Towns Fund, of which Stevenage received £37.5m in March 2021.

Chair of the Stevenage Development Board Adrian Hawkins OBE added: “The Stevenage Development Board with its successful Towns Fund bid is working to strategically improve facilities for the public and businesses in the town and ensuring that the Government funding is fully utilised in the most appropriate areas to provide maximum benefit for all parties.”

Park Mark Plus awarded to Stevenage Railway North car park

Stevenage Borough Council once again demonstrates the highest standards across its parking operations as its new Railway Station North car park has been awarded the Park Mark Plus award, the first car park in Hertfordshire to receive this.

Park Mark Plus is a comprehensive assessment demonstrating the highest quality of today’s modern car parks in services, operations, design and build.  To achieve the award, car parks must demonstrate a wide range of responsibilities.

Building on the well-regarded Safer Parking Scheme’s Park Mark award, Park Mark Plus recognises only the highest quality car parks. The Railway North car park in Stevenage opened in May 2023.  Adjacent to Stevenage Railway Station, the car park provides 622 spaces, an increase from the previous car park that had 339 spaces. There are 30 blue badge spaces, as well as 30 spaces that are available for electric vehicle charging. There is CCTV in the building and cashless pay machines. There is secure storage for 80 bicycles in a dedicated, covered space adjacent to the car park. The car park built by contractor Huber has no columns, which greatly aids vehicle movements.

The award of Park Mark Plus demonstrates that its facility provides police-approved accredited parking, and has reached the standards of the Disabled Parking Accreditation and a range of environmental, structural, operational and customer services criteria. This is a fantastic achievement and recognises that Stevenage Borough Council has parking facilities with measures in place that actively deter crime and the fear of crime in car parks.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented: “We strive for excellence in all projects that we deliver and being awarded the Park Mark Plus accreditation is a testament to the fantastic team who helped to deliver this facility. Our transport infrastructure needs to be modern and meet the needs of the consumers of today, and the car park certainly achieves this. It is a real honour to be the first car park in Hertfordshire to have achieved this accreditation and my thanks go to everyone who made this possible”.

The car park received funding from the Government’s Towns Fund. Stevenage Development Board secured £37.5m, the second joint highest bid in the country. £1.1m was contributed as part of the multi-million-pound Growth Deal funding secured by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Stevenage regeneration.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP and Stevenage Development Board, said: “Stevenage Development Board brings together diverse stakeholders to take forward a clear vision for the town. We want our town to be a top destination to live, work and visit. This car park, together with the new bus interchange and improved sustainable transport links, acts as a central gateway to our STEM city, widening opportunities and access for all. We are delighted to receive this award.”

Cllr Lloyd Briscoe, Executive Member for Economy and Transport at Stevenage Borough Council, said, “Stevenage town centre is being transformed and a key part of this is making our town centre accessible and linking different modes of transport. This accreditation recognises the standards that are included within the car park to make it safe, accessible, and well maintained for our residents, communities, businesses, and visitors.”

Chief Inspector Graeme Walsingham said, “The regeneration of the town is an exciting project and has our full support. We will continue working with our local partners to help keep the area a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Mark Montgomery, Crime Prevention Design Officer/Designing Out Crime Officer, Hertfordshire Constabulary said, “It is a pleasure to work with Stevenage Borough Council on their regeneration projects and I am especially pleased to see that not only did they achieve The Safer Parking Park Mark award, they have also won the distinction of achieving the first Park Mark Plus award within Hertfordshire. Another first for Stevenage.”

Antony Powell, BPA Area Manager said, “Many congratulations to Stevenage Borough Council in gaining Park Mark Plus accreditation for the new Railway Station North multi-storey car park. Everyone involved in the design, construction, management and operation of this excellent facility should be proud of this achievement.”

For more information visit

To find Park Mark awarded car parks visit

 Photo left to right:

  • Chief Inspector Graeme Walsingham, Hertfordshire Constabulary
  • Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council
  • Cllr Lloyd Briscoe, Executive Member for Economy and Transport at Stevenage Borough Council
  • Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of the Hertfordshire LEP and Chair of the Stevenage Development Board
  • Mayor of Stevenage, Cllr Myla Arceno
  • Inspector Nick Redfearn, Hertfordshire Constabulary
Hertfordshire is powering the UK’s future

Hertfordshire LEP together with the University of Hertfordshire supports the University Alliance’s Powering the UK’s Future campaign. This will further amplify the role higher education plays by working hand in hand with other organisations to drive future prospects and prosperity.

“Here in Hertfordshire we have solid foundations for growth with the University of Hertfordshire, four high-performing FE colleges and a strong legacy of partnership working to deliver skills and employment opportunities. Together we are united by one common purpose: to unlock potential and widen access for all, encouraging social mobility and demonstrating that all aspects of the skills agenda, i.e. apprenticeships and traineeships are valued options. Our ‘ground-up’ approach, rooted in local knowledge and tied to our communities, will be the bedrock of our national recovery. Hertfordshire LEP together with the University of Hertfordshire supports the University Alliance’s Powering the UK’s future campaign. This will further amplify the role higher education plays by working hand in hand with other organisations to drive future prospects and prosperity.

Powering businesses and growth

“Skills are the common currency that powers our economy and are a dynamic driver of enterprise, investment and new industry. This link between education and industry is vital to ensure that we are creating the right skills for our key sectors and championing innovation and entrepreneurship. Hertfordshire Growth Hub, the county’s flagship business support provider, is powered by Hertfordshire LEP and part delivered by the University of Hertfordshire.

“Over the past year, the role of Growth Hubs has been strengthened nationally to meet the huge increased need for business support during COVID-19. Hertfordshire LEP in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Growth Hub devised the Volunteer Business Support Scheme, a free and confidential 1-2-1 mentoring programme. The scheme launched in June 2020 and through its network of experienced mentors it has supported more than 190 businesses, providing over 600 hours of 1-2-1 support. Due to its success and excellent feedback, it has now been extended until November. The national Peer Networks Programme, delivered locally by Hertfordshire Growth Hub consortium partner, the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, gives SMEs an opportunity to network with fellow businesses, collaborate to find solutions to common issues, and access expert business advice and support.

“In December, the University of Hertfordshire opened its new £12m Enterprise Hub at its de Havilland campus in Hatfield, with a £2.5m Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP. The Hub will significantly enhance and expand existing support available to businesses in the region by providing flexible business incubation, office space, teaching and social areas under one roof, to facilitate greater collaboration between students, academics and the business community.

Powering people and jobs

“A new report from The Prince’s Trust and the Learning and Work Institute, supported by HSBC UK, warns that youth unemployment will remain high after other areas of the economy begin to recover, costing the UK economy almost £7 billion next year.

“Our Hertfordshire Supports Apprenticeships campaign, supported by a broad coalition of HE, FE, apprenticeship providers, schools, employers and other stakeholders, sends out a very clear message that apprenticeships are valued and viable career path options. In so doing it will help to:

  • Deliver a diverse resident workforce fit for the future;
  • Raise the skills and productivity levels of those already in work;
  • Showcase the resilience of apprentices and employers during COVID-19.

“Here in Hertfordshire we are very fortunate to have the Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP), masterminded by the Hertfordshire LEP’s Skills and Employment Board, which connects employers with future skills pipelines. Residents can access the information they need to make informed decisions on career path options including Further Education, Higher Education, professional qualifications, work experience and job opportunities; employers can reach and recruit their future talent and upskill and provide progression opportunities for existing staff. Up and down the country, every LEP Board has HE and FE representation and our Careers and Enterprise Company Enterprise Adviser Network convenes local expertise to align with schools and colleges to help shape courses, ensuring the right skills for the right jobs.

Powering communities

“Universities also have a critical role to play in the future of places and delivering the Government’s Plan for Growth. Our plans for levelling up opportunities in Stevenage (see Stevenage Development Board plans here) are greatly enhanced by the University of Hertfordshire’s presence and our four FE colleges. Following our successful bid, Stevenage was awarded £37.5m from the Government’s Towns Fund, a £3.6 billion fund used to help deliver the government’s plan to level up our regions by using different indicators of need and deprivation. This funding will help to enhance STEM skills facilities with the support of North Herts College and the University of Hertfordshire, unlocking future growth in our world-leading key sector industries, such as life sciences and advanced manufacturing, and providing real, high-value opportunities for local people.

“Our combined efforts to deliver a ‘workforce for tomorrow’ (Planning for the Future: Hertfordshire Local Skills Report, 2021) across Hertfordshire and our neighbouring counties will be greatly enhanced by the University Alliance’s policies to power the UK’s future. This campaign will create a broader understanding of the nation’s skills needs with a greater focus on excellent delivery to power a national economic, social and cultural recovery from COVID-19. It will present real benefits and opportunities to students and local employers and speak with ‘one voice’ to Government. We fully support and encourage this initiative to help power the UK and Hertfordshire’s future.”