Thursday, July 25, 2024
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The Newbury Masterplan – moving forward

Whether it’s to work, learn, shop, relax or simply somewhere to call home, Newbury is a beautiful place, with a rich and colourful heritage.

That’s the driving force behind the Newbury Masterplan as we look ahead to the next phase, ensuring the town centre remains one of the most vibrant places in the south east.

A key objective of the masterplan is to broaden the leisure, community and cultural ‘experience’ of the town centre, transforming it into a ‘multi-purpose’ space that makes the most of the canal, the historic buildings, the quirky Lanes and Yards and the growing number of independent shops and cafes attracting more visitors who will then spend more time there.

Following the results of two public consultations, which attracted over 5000 responses, the final report will go before the Council’s Executive on 10 February.

Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council says, “Newbury, like every town, exists to bring people together.  It’s now outperforming many other towns around the country in achieving footfall figures back to pre-Covid rates.  It’s essential that we have the correct vision in place so we can work with partners to ensure Newbury continues to be everything we want and more. ”

One area that could benefit as part of the masterplan is the Wharf. This could allow the creation of new open space facing the canal, acting as a focus for cultural activities and outdoor events.  There are also proposals for environmental improvements around the town centre to provide better access routes for pedestrians and cyclists along and over the canal. This would encourage movement to and from the shopping areas, Victoria Park and other parts of the town, encouraging people to stay longer.

If approved by the Executive on 10 February, the Council will look to take the Masterplan forward with partners, including bidding for funding from external sources.