22nd Oct, 2019

Leamington Town Centre 'vision' one step closer to becoming reality

Laura Kearns 18th Apr, 2018

A ‘VISION’ for the future of Leamington town centre is a step closer to becoming a reality.

Making improvements for those who live, work and visit the town is the focus of Leamington Town Centre Forum, a group made up of businesses, councils, societies and the police.

The Forum says it plans to protect and make the best of assets by coming up with ideas for sites including the town hall, a Creative Quarter in Old Town, and Chandos Street car park.

It is also focused on improving access around the town by including encouraging the use of bicycles.

And Old Town also forms a major part of the vision, with areas such as Court Street, Althorpe Street and Wise Street set to be regenerated for employment, housing, tourism and cultural uses.

The vision also includes ensuring investment complement existing businesses, improving access along the canal and ensuring there is more space for events such as street theatre in the town.

The vision statement says the plans – the costs of which have not yet been revealed – will ensure the needs of Leamington’s ‘diverse’ population of residents, visitors, businesses and students are being met.

Warwickshire County Council looks set to approve the plans at a cabinet meeting on Thursday (April 19) and will then work alongside partners including Warwick District Council, Leamington Business Improvement District and the Royal Priors to make it a reality.

A spokesman for the group said: “Our vision is to build a welcoming town centre that celebrates its entrepreneurial past, embraces its cultural and creative present and looks forward to innovative future developments. A town centre where visitors and residents alike are offered a rich experience, whether working, shopping, eating and drinking or enjoying the town’s cultural and social activities.

“The challenge moving forward will be to make this document real, to deliver the actions identified.”

And Leamington councillor Jonathan Chilvers says he welcomes the proposal but says more work needs to be done.

He told the Observer: “I welcome the principles in this vision, particularly around making the most of the canal and river, and making it easier and safer to walk and cycle from South Leamington to the station, Bath Street and Parade.

“But this document is just the start. It’s not costed and will require sustained commitment from all involved. I’ll be continuing to push to see these nice words turned into real action to help our town succeed and flourish for years to come.”

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