The transformation of the public spaces in Market Place, one of the original Stevenage Town Centre streets and one of the first to undergo regeneration, has been Highly Commended by judges at the 2020 Street Design Awards.
The scheme was completed in late-2018 and introduced a range of new universal play equipment and street furniture, bringing a sense of fun and identity to an area in need of renewal. The scheme has boosted footfall and increased activity, receiving positive feedback from businesses based there. It was one of the first schemes delivered as part of the wider £1bn regeneration of the town centre.
The Awards are run by LocalGov, the UK’s largest dedicated government news website and celebrate innovation and best practice in street design across the country. Entries were submitted in February, before the pandemic, and Market Place was Highly Commended in the ‘Children’s Play’ category, being narrowly beaten by Islington LBC.
Cllr John Gardner, Executive Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Environment, commented on the accolade.
“We are delighted to have been Highly Commended in one of the UK’s leading Awards of its type. Prior to the regeneration scheme, Market Place was starting to become unattractive, however the transformation – with relatively low levels of investment – has been incredible and brought life back to the street, reflecting the quality of local businesses. We know from retailers and traders based here that footfall has increased and it’s rare to see the street unoccupied such is the popularity of the play equipment. The accolade is testament to the hard work, innovation and creativity of our internal teams and regeneration partners.”
Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented.
“Market Place was one of the first areas we looked to transform in our 20-year, £1bn programme and the results have been outstanding. We always felt it was important to invest in our public spaces up-front as a catalyst for the larger scheme, and its impact has been clear to see and its success represents a strong platform to launch our other programmes from. We now have four major schemes underway in the town, with another to launch next year, and if the results are anything like we have seen with Market Place Stevenage is really set to benefit. After a very tough year for everyone this is some positive news to round off 2020.”
You can see a full list of winners here – http://streetdesign.localgov.co.uk/
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