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.”

A new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage: Your Feedback

Stevenage Borough Council recently asked local communities to share their views on a proposed new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage. The proposed new facility will bring together all under one roof the sports and swimming facilities, currently provided at Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, and Stevenage Swimming Centre.

We asked residents, businesses and visitors to complete a short survey to help us better understand what’s important. Over 400 responses were received and this feedback, of which the headlines can be found below, will help us to begin to shape a new state of the art building for Stevenage, promoting healthy living and wellbeing for residents.

Most of you told us that a modern building with sports, wellbeing and swimming under one roof would encourage you to use the facilities, which you would like to see in an accessible location with safe access for pedestrians. There needs to be adequate parking, including blue badge spaces, alongside cycle parking and cycle storage.

There should be improved changing facilities and a café provided. Spaces for groups and classes is a must, as is the need for spaces for indoor sports and leisure. There needs to be a schedule of events and activities for people of all ages and abilities.

The swimming pool should allow space for lane swimming alongside lessons and swimming clubs. The water should be deep with provision for interactive water play and a spectator area for the pool. Wellbeing is a key focus of this proposed upgraded offering for the town, and some of you asked for a spa alongside provision for mental health and mindfulness activities.

Many of you have further questions around the facility. This is a facility for the local community and this survey is the start of a process to work together on a building with something for everyone. We will now work with a design team on the next stages and will share further information in due course, including around the future opportunities for the community to comment.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented: “My thanks go to everyone who completed our recent survey. Feedback is invaluable as we work with our communities on this proposed new facility and continue to deliver the best for Stevenage. We know how well-used the current facilities are and this new building will increase the user experience, future proofing these services for increased usage and modern living. Our teams are working hard to meet as many of your needs as possible, and we look forward to providing an update in due course”.

The project will be partially funded through the Government’s Towns Fund. The Stevenage Development Board secured £37.5m in March 2021, and a proportion of this will be used for this new facility.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, commented: “We have been delighted that more than 400 people have taken the time and the trouble to take part in our recent survey which centred on providing a new Sports and Leisure Centre for Stevenage.

“The insight gained has of course proved invaluable, but just as importantly it has shown that the people of this town view our regeneration scheme as a key part not just of their futures but that of their children’s as well.

“The remarkable technology sector and our advances in STEM can only come to fruition if we are also able to underpin and develop our sporting heritage. Stevenage has become world famous for sporting men and women who have triumphed on the biggest stages and our commitment to a new Sports and Leisure facility shows that we take seriously all aspects of this development.”

Cllr Loraine Rossati, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Information Technology, said: “We have a vision for this new facility for the town, and we are committed to working with our communities to realise this. Collaboration is key, both with our residents and project partners, and I would also like to thank Everyone Active and Morgan Sindall as we work together to provide the best in class. We won’t be able to deliver everything, but by understanding what is most important to you, we can further explore the art of the possible and sharing the next stages of this proposal. There will be further opportunities to comment and we encourage everyone to have their say at the next available opportunity.”

Allan Prescott, Everyone Active contract manager, said: “We’re thrilled to see such positive feedback from the local community regarding the proposed new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage. These headline findings reflect a clear desire for modern, accessible facilities that cater to the diverse needs of our residents. We’re excited about the potential of this state-of-the-art building to promote healthy living and wellbeing for all, and we look forward to working closely with Stevenage Borough Council to bring this vision to life.”

FAQs

Q: What will happen to the Gordon Craig Theatre?

The proposed new facility is focused on bringing together the sports and swimming facilities currently provided at Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, and Stevenage Swimming Centre. The theatre will not be moving to the new facility, and it will continue to operate as normal during the development and after the delivery of the new Sports & Leisure Centre.

Stevenage has a history of celebrating arts and culture and we are proud of the theatre and what it offers, and the council is committed to retaining a theatre within Stevenage Town Centre.

Q: What will happen to Bowes Lyon and the skatepark?

In November 2023, the council asked people to share their views on what they would like to see in a proposed new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage. This survey marked the start of a process to work with the local community, and there will be plenty more opportunities for people to comment and have their say. Nothing has been approved – there is no planning application or decision – and the project is at a very early stage. No detailed design work has started.

Questions have been raised about a possible location for the proposed new facility, including the possible use of Bowes Lyon and the skatepark, both owned and managed by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC). Following discussions with HCC, we are now working up proposals that will not require the demolition of either of these facilities.

Community invited to vote on new urban artworks in Stevenage

In 2023, a partnership between Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council saw three new pieces of urban artworks unveiled in Stevenage, at the underpass located by Stevenage FC and Wickes at the Broadhall Way roundabout.

As part of an ongoing programme of works, Stevenage Borough Council is asking the local community for their help as the next set of artworks – located at the Monkswood Way and Six Hills Way roundabout – enter their design phase.

Six themes, each with links to the town’s history and culture, have been identified. Yet only three can feature in the final designs, and help is needed to determine which of these will be used.

The council is asking the community and businesses to pick their three favourites through a survey which can be found https://forms.office.com/e/9ZiiWg7vzL.

The themes are:

1. Eric Claxton

An ode to the engineer who designed the 25-mile segregated cycle network in Stevenage in the 1960s and 70s.

2. Town Centre Gardens

Highlighting the nearby gardens that feature a pond, public art, a sensory garden, and ancient lane hedgerows.

3. William Mitchell

An ode to the world-renowned sculptor, artist and designer, whose art is already celebrated in Stevenage.

4. ‘Stevenage on wheels’

Promoting active travel through cycling, scooting, skating, and wheeling through Stevenage.

5. Stevenage Town Centre

Celebrating Stevenage becoming the first pedestrianised town centre in the UK in 1958.

6. Stevenage photographers

Sharing beautiful imagery of interest points in Stevenage taken by local amateur photographers.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “We were delighted with the reaction to the underpasses completed in 2023, and the sense of community pride that they have instilled. In collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council we want to make further improvements to the town’s underpasses and this next phase of works provides another opportunity to place our communities, achievements and assets in the centre of the town. This is a project for our communities and we encourage everyone to get involved to help us shape this next set of artworks for Stevenage!”.

Cllr Loraine Rossati, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Information Technology at Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “The artworks already in place, designed and painted by Hertfordshire-based street artists Murwalls, are a fantastic addition to Stevenage. Fresh, relevant and celebrating the town, they demonstrate how other underpasses in the town have the potential to look.  We want to work with our local communities to help shape the designs for this next set of artworks, and others in the future, and we are delighted to be able to announce this survey today. We look forward to seeing the results!”.

The survey closes at midday on Friday 8 March 2024.

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 rich diversity of Stevenage in terms of technology, innovation, sport and history are clear to all in the town. I am delighted that the project to design uplifting murals in underpasses and other area have also been able to reflect this.

“Our town is undergoing a massive period of positive change and the opportunities for all are now tangible. Schemes such as the murals allow us all to visualise just what there is on offer in Stevenage and just what potential we have, not just in our town but also in our people.”

Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council are working together to improve a number of underpasses throughout Stevenage, improving these for pedestrians and cyclists and celebrating everything that the town has to offer.

Cllr Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “I am delighted that Hertfordshire County Council continues to partner Stevenage Borough Council in brightening up the town’s subways. We are working with local schools, communities and artists on many subways across the County to make them much more inviting, encouraging walking and cycling. This supports the Council’s aim to make Hertfordshire cleaner, greener and healthier.”

A new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage: Have Your Say

Stevenage Borough Council is asking local communities to share their views on a proposed new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage. The proposed new facility will bring together the sports and swimming facilities currently provided at Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, and Stevenage Swimming Centre.

They will be re-provided in a new state of the art building with a wide range of innovative and exciting services and activities, promoting healthy living and wellbeing for residents.

It is proposed that the facility will encompass swimming, studios and gym space with flexible sports and leisure facilities, with early ideas including the inclusion of a café with access from the Town Centre Gardens.

The design of the facility is in its very early stages and we would like to hear what local communities would like from a new facility for the town. At this stage, the council is asking residents, businesses and visitors to complete a short survey to help us better understand what’s important.

The closing date for completing the survey is Friday 24 November at 3pm. The survey can be found online via https://forms.office.com/e/KCBD8BRtQ0, with hard copies available at various locations including the Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre (located at the reception to the gym).

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for our residents to have their say on this proposed new development for the town. The existing sports, health, and wellbeing services provided within Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre and Stevenage Swimming Centre are well used and the council is looking to future proof these services by replacing them with brand new facilities in the new building, both in terms of provision of services and capacity for the growing town and increased usage”.

The project will be partially funded through the Government’s Towns Fund. The Stevenage Development Board secured £37.5m in March 2021, and a proportion of this will be used for this new facility.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, commented:

“The Stevenage Development Board is an independent group focused on making Stevenage Even Better. We are delighted to see the commencement of our new Sports & Leisure project in Stevenage as we remain certain that this major investment will greatly contribute to improvements in the enjoyment, health and welfare of our residents and the many employees also based within the town and locality.

“The team at the council are working very hard to deliver the many Towns Fund projects and meet the increasing interest in our town from the many UK and overseas organisations. We look forward to your kind assistance in providing feedback so that you can enjoy these facilities even more.”

Cllr Loraine Rossati, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Information Technology, said: “We have a vision for this new facility for the town, and the involvement of our communities is a key part of that vision. This is a new space for everyone to enjoy, and for that to be realised, we need help to shape what we want in a new, state-of-the-art building. This is the start of an extensive process with residents, the local community, businesses and visitors as we work collaboratively to deliver a facility that everyone can use and be proud of.”

Morgan Sindall Construction, who have extensive experience of building leisure facilities, have been appointed to help deliver the Sports & Leisure Hub. The upgraded facility will be managed by Everyone Active, a specialist leisure operator who operate the council’s leisure facilities within the town.

Emma Curtis, Area Director at Morgan Sindall, commented: “With previous experience in the leisure sector, we understand the value of community leisure facilities and just how much they can act as a springboard for both improved physical and mental health.

“The new sports and leisure hub will be a new focal point for the town and this opportunity will allow us to engage positively with Stevenage residents by offering both employment and apprenticeship opportunities.

“We are very proud to be working alongside Stevenage Borough Council to deliver its transformational regeneration plans and are excited to receive your feedback on what you’d like to see at your new sports and leisure hub.”

Allan Prescott, Everyone Active contract manager, said: “We are excited to be a part of this transformative project in Stevenage. The needs of residents are ever evolving and it is important that we deliver a top-notch facility that caters to the needs and aspirations of the local residents. I would urge everyone to get involved in this consultation to help shape the plans.”

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is the new Sports & Leisure Hub?

The proposed new Sports & Leisure Hub is a modern state of the art leisure facility that will encompass swimming, studios, gym space, flexible sports and leisure facilities, consolidating the sports, leisure and swimming facilities currently being provided at different locations to one new, purpose-built leisure facility.

The design of the facility is in its infancy and the council is committed to working alongside the local community on a facility that will offer something for everyone.

Q; What will the new facility include?

The new Sports & Leisure Hub will incorporate facilities including swimming, studios, gym, a sports hall, and flexible sports and leisure facilities. The venue will encompass more than just sports, becoming a place for leisure, and an additional focal point for the town. The proposals include the inclusion of a café which will be accessible to people using the Town Centre Gardens.

The Leisure Hub will be innovative and with cutting edge designs providing a wide range of diverse facilities and services to ensure that whole community will be able to take full advantage of the centre’s offerings in a comfortable, safe, accessible, and modern environment.

Q: How will it be different to our current facilities?

The proposals would see wet and dry facilities available under one roof, whereas they are currently split across two different locations. The facilities would be modern and fit-for-purpose, future proofing the facility and ensuring that those using this have access to clean and high quality areas for health, wellbeing, leisure and sports.

Q: Who will manage the facility?

The new leisure facility will be managed by Everyone Active, a specialist leisure operator who already run services in the town.  Everyone Active manage over 200 leisure facilities in the UK and work with over 60 local authorities.

Q: Why is it needed?

The existing sports and leisure centre facilities, including the current swimming pool, are well used but were designed and built in the 1960’s and 70’s. By combining leisure and sports facilities we will not only have a much better, high quality facility services on one site, but also a highly improved customer experience, lower maintenance costs, more efficient use of space and a significant reduction in our carbon footprint.

Q: When will it be opening?

The council and its delivery partners are at the very early stages of this journey. There are several more stages to go through including further opportunities for residents, communities, and businesses to have their say, prior to a planning application being submitted.

Should the application be granted permission, then there will be further preparatory work ahead of construction beginning.

Q: What will happen to the empty spaces at the Arts & Leisure Centre when the new leisure facility is built?

The council will work with Everyone Active and other key stakeholders during the period of the new leisure hub development to consider alternative options for the use of the space vacated by the existing services.

Q: When can I see the plans?

This is the start of an extensive co-production process with residents, the local community, schools and businesses as we work collaboratively to deliver a facility that everyone can use and be proud of. At this current stage, we do not have any design plans to show, and we are asking for feedback on what people would like to see from a new facility and services provided, as opposed to designs. The feedback we receive will be used to shape the look and feel of the facility. The local authority is committed to providing a facility which can be enjoyed by all.

Q: What will happen to the other services that operate in the existing building when the new building opens?

The majority of leisure, sport, health and wellbeing services will be transferred to the new and enhanced by improved facilities and additional services. The theatre will remain whilst future options will be considered.

Q: What will happen to the Gordon Craig Theatre?

The council is committed to retaining a theatre within Stevenage Town Centre. The Gordon Craig Theatre will continue to operate as normal during the development of the new Leisure Hub, but the council will continue to look at future alternative options for the theatre as an integral part for the regeneration of the town.

Q: Who is paying for this?

The project is being funded partly through Towns Fund, using some of the £37.5m awarded in March 2021. The Council is currently developing a funding strategy including working with the government and government bodies on further national funding for the facility alongside any Council funding.

 

 

 

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 www.britishparking.co.uk/Park-Mark-Plus

To find Park Mark awarded car parks visit www.parkmark.co.uk

 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
New artworks celebrating Stevenage unveiled

Three new pieces of artwork have been unveiled in Stevenage, at the underpass located by Stevenage FC and Wickes at the Broadhall Way roundabout.

The artworks on the walls of the underpass are themed to represent the town’s achievements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the town’s green spaces and active travel routes, and Stevenage Football Club (Stevenage F.C). The three designs reflect the areas to and from the underpasses.

Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council have worked in partnership to improve the underpasses, creating a colourful, welcoming pathway to key areas within the town. Stevenage has incredible qualities and opportunities for residents, communities and businesses to enjoy, with the new artwork celebrating this.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “We want Stevenage to be a place that continues to be bright and vibrant. As we move forward with our programme of transformation to the town centre, we remain committed to making improvements to the wider area and this collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council celebrates some of the many reasons we have to be proud of our town. We work with a range of fantastic partners throughout the town, and our thanks go to everyone who has made this project a reality, including the Stevenage Development Board and the Stevenage FC Foundation”.

Cllr Loraine Rossati, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Information Technology at Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “The use of street art to improve our local environment is a fun and engaging way to recognise our achievements and the heritage that has created the Stevenage we know and love today. The artists have done a fantastic job with this artwork. We are exploring further opportunities to work with Hertfordshire County Council to improve other underpasses in the town and to continue to showcase the best of Stevenage”.

The project has been funded by the Stevenage Development Board through national government’s Towns Fund. Part of the funding is allocated to improving cycling and pedestrian connectivity, and artworks to the underpasses and cycleways throughout the town are a key part of this, creating some stunning visuals in areas close to key parts of Stevenage.

Chair of the Stevenage Development Board Adrian Hawkins OBE added: “We are delighted to see these artworks completed. They represent some of the key qualities of our town and celebrate the achievements which are ongoing, such as our STEM based industries that offer great employment opportunities and skills to local people. We hope that this work will inspire the future generation to work towards the next set of scientific achievements to come from the town.”

Hertfordshire-based street artists MurWalls have designed and painted the walls of the three underpasses, commissioned by Hertfordshire County Council.

Cllr Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport at Hertfordshire County Council, commented: “The murals are a fantastic addition to Stevenage and will hopefully encourage more people to walk and cycle, especially to and from the Stadium. I’d like to thank MurWalls for creating such wonderful artwork, as well as Stevenage Borough Council and Stevenage Football Club who have done a great job bringing the area to life.

“Our aim is to offer all residents a cleaner, greener, healthier Hertfordshire. Providing attractive places to walk and cycle encourages more active travel, protects the environment and helps reduce traffic congestion.”

Mike Pink, Chief Executive Officer at Stevenage Football Club, added: “On behalf of Stevenage Football Club, I would like to thank Hertfordshire County Council, The Stevenage Development Board and Murwalls for the wonderfully painted historic and community-based murals which now feature in the underpass leading to the Lamex Stadium. The addition of the murals has added considerably to the overall experience of arriving at Stevenage Football Club for a match day and I encourage all our supporters whether using public transport, driving, cycling or walking to pay them a visit.”

Anti-graffiti protection has been added to the top of the artworks to prevent vandalism, and Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council ask that this is respected so the artwork is not damaged, and that residents and visitors can enjoy the scenes.

Multi-Storey Car Park adjacent to Stevenage Railway Station opens

The new multi-storey car park adjacent to Stevenage Railway Station is open. The car park is operational 24 hours a day and is a long stay car park.

The new 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.

In addition to vehicles, there is secure parking for 80 bicycles in a dedicated, covered space adjacent to the car park. There is also space for three larger cycles. This facility is being run by Spokesafe.

A series of Frequently Asked Questions will provide you with information on the facility, including the cycle storage. Please see these below.

Q: What is the tallest vehicle that can enter?

A: The car park has a height restriction of 2.2 m. Vehicles over this height can park in the Railway South car park.

Q: How many electric vehicle points are there?

A: 30 spaces will be immediately available for use by electric cars. There are further car parking spaces that have the necessary infrastructure to be converted to electric vehicle spaces as the demand increases.

Q: How do you pay for electric vehicle charging?

A: Payment is taken through the Blink Charging – EB Go! app, using the same provider as at St George’s multi-storey car park, The Forum car park and on-street on Swingate.

Q: Will the charging points charge all electric vehicles?

A: The charging points will give a charge at up to 7kW via a type 2 socket which is compatible with almost all EVs on the market.

Q: Where are the blue badge spaces located?

A: The blue badge spaces are split across different levels, with most of the spaces at ground level. The car park has two lifts to allow movement between floors. The spaces are located as close as possible to the lifts.

Q: What hours will the lifts be in operation?

A: The lifts are in operation during train running times.

Q: Are there columns throughout the car park?

A: No, the car park contains no columns. This design creates more unobstructed space for individual cars and to allow ease of parking and manoeuvring.

Q: Where is the entrance and exit?

A: The entrance and exit to the car park is on Lytton Way, as it was with the former surface level car park. There are two entrance barriers and two exit barriers.

Q: Does the car park use chip coins like the others in the town?

A: No. The car park uses licence plate registration. This system calculates how long a car has been in the car park without the need for chip coins.

Q: How much does it cost to park?

A: The parking costs are available here: Parking (stevenage.gov.uk). Parking charges are reviewed for all car parks annually.

Q: How do I purchase a season ticket?

A: Information about purchasing a season ticket can be found on our website: Car Park Season Tickets (stevenage.gov.uk)

Q: I have been using a season ticket in another car park. Will it transfer across?

A: As long as the appropriate details have been provided to our car parks team, this will transfer across to the new car park.

Q: Where do taxis collect people from?

A: The taxi rank remains in its usual location and pick-ups and drop offs are not affected. You cannot pick up and drop off in the new car park site.

Q: Are the two-tier cycle stands remaining?

A: The two-tier cycle stands within the taxi rank location remain as they are.

SPOKESAFE SECURE CYCLE STORAGE

Q: What is Stevenage Railway North Secure Cycle Parking?

A: Stevenage Railway North Secure Cycle Parking provides a safe place for bikes to be left, in a secure storage facility operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are 80 spaces available, along with 3 spaces for larger bikes. The facility is covered to protect bikes from the elements.

Specialist operator Spokesafe will manage the storage through its purpose-built app.

Spokesafe provide cyclists with access to a network of secure places to park. The Stevenage facility accepts bikes only, with three spaces for larger cycles.

There is a repair stand available next to the storage.

Stevenage Railway North Secure Cycle Parking (spokesafe.com)

Q: Where is it located?

A: The secure cycle parking is located at the pedestrian entrance of the new multi-storey car park, which is opposite the bottom of the stairs as you exit the railway station towards the taxi rank.

Q: When is it open?

A: The cycle parking is now open. It will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round.

Q: How does it work?

A: Cyclists can gain access to the facility via the Spokesafe app, which you will need to sign up to. When you would like to park your bike, log into the app to request a code to gain entry to the building via a keypad. You should still bring a lock to secure your bike to the stand.

Q: What is the price?

A: Membership costs £10 a month or £1 per day for Pay As You Go bookings. Monthly memberships provide unlimited access to the facility.

Q: Where do you subscribe?

A: You can sign up at www.spokesafe.app. Please note this will require a form of photo ID to complete the registration. All members receive full access instructions once they have signed up.

Q: Do I get a reserved space?

A: Membership provides users with access to the facility and you are not allocated a reserved space. However, Spokesafe monitor usage levels closely and will pause taking on new members should the facility be regularly full.

Q: How long can I leave my bike in the facility for?

A: Bicycles can be left for up to 1 month. Bike dumping is something that Spokesafe monitor. When signing up you will add your bicycle to Spokesafe’s database, and the owners of any bikes which appear to be abandoned will be contacted. If Spokesafe do not hear back from you, the bike will be donated to charity.

Q: What happens if I need help accessing the facility?

A: For general enquiries & questions, please email hello@spokesafe.com.

Spokesafe operate a 24/7 emergency helpline where you can speak to a friendly member of their team straight away. The number is 020 3488 0060.

Morgan Sindall dives into Stevenage Sports and Leisure Hub

Morgan Sindall Construction’s Northern Home Counties business has been appointed by Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) to help deliver a multi-million-pound Sports and Leisure Hub, as part of the town’s wider regeneration plans.

Procured through SCAPE’s National Construction Framework, the project is part of the council’s wider regeneration plans funded by the Government’s Town’s Fund initiative.

Set to be situated adjacent to the main Town Centre Gardens on St George’s Way, it will consolidate Stevenage’s health and wellbeing offering, which is currently positioned across three different sites.

Stevenage Sports and Leisure Hub will be a flexible state-of-the-art facility with swimming, studios, gym space and flexible sports facilities.

Not only will the Stevenage Sports and Leisure Hub deliver significantly improved sports facilities that will promote healthy living for Stevenage residents but it will also provide improved links between The Forum, Town Centre Gardens, Stevenage Old Town, King George V Playing Fields, and residential areas beyond. Throughout construction, local swimming provision will remain in operation.

As part of Morgan Sindall’s Intelligent Solutions approach, the project team will be working closely with SBC to embed sustainability into the design of the facility at all stages.

Morgan Sindall makes a commitment to deliver at least 30% of the contract value in social value to where it is most needed in the communities in which it operates. In line with this, the project team plan to bring its Knowledge Quad to site, exposing young people in Stevenage to career opportunities within the construction industry, which they previously may not have considered.

David Rowsell, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction in the Northern Home Counties, said: “We understand the value of community leisure facilities and how they can act as a springboard for better physical and mental health outcomes.

“Stevenage Sports and Leisure Hub will be a new focal point for the town. Having a new state-of-the-art facility with the whole health and wellbeing offering under one roof, will encourage greater levels of participation in sport, delivering improvements to quality of life across Stevenage.

“We are very proud to be working alongside Stevenage Borough Council to deliver its transformational regeneration plans, as it continues to Level Up its town centre.”

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “We are really pleased to have appointed Morgan Sindall to deliver this new Sports and Leisure Hub for Stevenage, with the proposed new facilities modernising and increasing our sports and leisure offering. We need the help of our residents and communities as we progress this scheme, and will be inviting everyone to have their say in the coming months so that the community can help to design a facility with benefits and activities for all. Having recently confirmed Everyone Active as the new operator for our leisure facilities, this is a really exciting time for sports, leisure & culture provision in our town”.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, said: “I can remember the joy and importance attached to our current swimming pool opening in Stevenage and look forward to this new development enhancing our current dated facilities. I am delighted that the Stevenage Development Board secured the funding for this project and what it will mean to so many people. Being specialists in delivering state-of-the-art leisure facilities, we look forward to working with Morgan Sindall in the development of this scheme, further demonstrating the high standards that the Stevenage regeneration schemes is setting.”

Mark Robinson, Group Chief Executive at SCAPE, added: “We are pleased to be supporting our partner, Morgan Sindall in the delivery of a new sports and leisure hub, bringing much-needed facilities to the community of Stevenage. In addition to utilising sustainable methods, the scheme will provide excellent social value opportunities, helping to create a lasting legacy for many years for the local people.

Stevenage Borough Council backs Town’s Fund projects

Stevenage Borough Council’s Executive approved recommendations through business cases for a new Garden Square , Stevenage Innovation & Technology Centre (SITEC) and Cycling & Pedestrian Connectivity and Heritage Trail on Friday 4 March 2022.  These three projects seek to bring together a range of arts, culture, leisure, food, community events, transport and learning facilities to the town centre and are about delivering high quality, rejuvenated places for local residents to enjoy.  The proposals also address the skills and training gap, creating opportunities for our young people and welcoming different sectors and audiences to the town centre as a part of Stevenage’s Town Investment Plan.

The Garden Square development (part of the SG1 scheme by Mace) brings forward a new high quality public square for leisure, food & drink, and community performances adjacent to Stevenage Town Square and seeks to transform the current bus station into a vibrant multi-purpose space.

Drawing on the principles of the Grimsey Review and the Stevenage Central Framework, these plans from our £37.5 million Town’s Fund (the second highest awarded in the country), seek to use leisure, culture, hospitality and an exciting events programme to create a vibrant town centre for all to enjoy.  Collectively these schemes will also help to create a diverse town centre economy, whilst utilising retail, leisure, culture and experience to attract footfall to ensure that new and existing businesses can thrive, and provide the amenities that residents, businesses and visitors need to make Stevenage a vibrant 21st century town.

The Stevenage Innovation and Technology Centre (SITEC) – a new purpose-built learning facility located in the heart of Stevenage town centre will help address the skills deficits that underpin the gap in employment and earnings, and is important in delivering an interface between Stevenage’s residents and the high-tech, high-value national and international businesses located in the town.

The SITEC will provide Level 3, 4 and 5 courses and act as a bridge between further and higher education, providing skilled local labour to local industries and showcase the town’s industries to inspire our young people.  Courses could offer specialisms in Engineering, Life sciences, Biotechnology, Digital and Computing Innovation and Advanced Construction Skills – all critical to the Stevenage area and the wider Hertfordshire and UK economy.

Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “I am delighted to see the Garden Square proposals coming forward in the heart of the town centre and utilisation of empty town centre retail spaces to help create a better experience for our residents and visitors alike.”

“These plans will additionally help our businesses, with greater footfall and spending power within the town centre to support our local economy.”

“The SITEC is an important development, providing education, skills and training for better life chances for our young people, whilst capitalising on our unique heritage of technology, life sciences and pharma industries that have made Stevenage their home. Unlocking these opportunities by working with businesses and providing local young people with skills and employment is also a priority for us.”

“Stevenage is going through exciting transformation, and our residents sit at the heart of these ambitious plans. We are leading a period of change that will celebrate our legacy as the first post-war town, whilst creating a modern, diversified town centre offering something for everyone.  We look forward to delivering these ambitious plans together with the Stevenage Development Board and our private sector partners.”

The third proposal to be considered by the Stevenage Borough Council Executive is The Cycling & Pedestrian Connectivity and Heritage Trail, which includes the delivery of enhanced pedestrian and cycling infrastructure that will link between new developments in the town centre and other growth schemes our impressive 45km cycling network – increasing accessibility and levels of health and wellbeing through increased cycling and walking. The proposal also includes a heritage and arts trail that will connect with the public realm and provide opportunities to showcase the wide range of arts and culture assets that the town has to offer.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, the independent Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, said:  “The final three cases which are being recommended to the council’s executive represent the culmination of a very successful submission to government in 2021. This led to the securing of a £37.5m contribution as part of the Town’s Fund and I am proud to say that this is the second highest received anywhere in the country.

“As the first new town ever to be created in the UK, Stevenage is a post war vision of modern life and the need for this funding has arisen because some of this infrastructure requires enhancement and other aspects replacement, with services more representative of current times.

“The first of the final three business cases deals with cycling and heritage connectivity, everyone knows that our 45km of cycleway within the town was simply a visionary investment and that it connects our heritage for all to enjoy – it clearly is the future of our town.

“The second case supports the replacement of our vast 1950’s bus station with a remarkable collaboration, leading to the delivery of our new Garden Square and diversification of retail space – recognising absolutely that “the heart of a town lies in its people”.

“But it is my opinion that of all these excellent developments, it is SITEC which offers the biggest opportunity. There can be little doubt that agreement to this case means that we have the means to deliver social mobility by creating a radical change in people’s lives, creating local employment opportunities, supporting our local businesses, and providing higher incomes to those that wish to aspire to a better way of life.

“The town has seen the continued development of advanced manufacturing, life sciences, technology and pharmaceuticals with various employers already basing themselves within the Town. More will of course follow, and this means that in the next five to seven years we will see some 7,000 jobs created requiring level 3 qualifications and above. As a result, the need is clear for the Stevenage Innovation and Technology Centre (SITEC) and it will be launched to provide a clear focus and delivery of skills at this level and above.

“It is real world differences to people’s lives such as these, which I am most proud to be delivering as part of this regeneration of our town.”

These projects form part of the transformation of the Town Centre through the Town’s Fund and will be delivered by the Stevenage Development Board and Stevenage Borough Council, as part of the Stevenage Even Better £1bn regeneration programme.   Planning permission has been granted for a number of developments in the town to deliver new homes, jobs and transformation of our public spaces to create a vibrant destination.

Stevenage regeneration set for £25m windfall

The Comet – Stevenage regeneration set for £25m windfall
Georgia Barrow
12 September 2019

Stevenage has been selected as one of 100 town centres to receive government funding to help develop regeneration plans – and the windfall could be up to £25 million.

The town centre regeneration is already under way, and has now been guaranteed a slice of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund which is designed to support towns to “build prosperous futures”.

Leader of the council Sharon Taylor said: “The government’s move to include Stevenage in its new Towns Fund is a step in the right direction.

“We have been making great progress with the regeneration of Stevenage town centre, with investment into public realm, kickstarting the regeneration of Queensway, and commencing a major redevelopment partnership with Mace.

“We have worked closely with local partners and businesses to drive the regeneration of the town and will continue to work together to make this revitalisation of the town a success.

“We are proud that our work has been recognised and will encourage government to work at pace to support our regeneration plans.”

Selected town centres include places with industrial and economic heritage, but may not have always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this government.

“We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.
”I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place.

“I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism.”

https://www.thecomet.net/news/stevenage-town-fund-regeneration-1-6262773

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