"New but not too new" revamp on the cards for Stratford town centre - The Leamington Observer

"New but not too new" revamp on the cards for Stratford town centre

EVOLUTION not revolution is at the heart of a future vision for Stratford town centre.

The Town Centre Strategic Partnership – a joint working group of key Stratford organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford District Council, Stratford Town Trust and The Stratford Society – is working on on a masterplan to overhaul the town centre.

The ultimate goal will be the publication of a ‘prospectus’ to promote the town, outline improvements and help secure funding to deliver various projects and initiatives.

The partnership’s vision is for Stratford town centre to retain its unique appeal as the birthplace of Shakespeare’s while having the feel of a ‘small city’ that works for both visitors and residents, whatever their age, alike.

The mission is to provide a great experience for visitors – through the arts and creativity, Stratford’s history and heritage, and the natural environment.

This should be delivered for locals not just for tourists and provide a great place to live, work and study and should be done in a joined up way, with a bold plan, “thinking big and taking risks”.

The strategy’s mission is also to ensure a diversity of appeal, by being inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all.

The partnership will deliver the vision through a set of projects and activities which fall within four themes with an overarching approach of “evolution not revolution”.

Official documents read: “We must bring about change while respecting what people already love about Stratford. Deliver ‘new but not too new’.”

Areas of activity include a ‘Town Centre Evolution’ – to evolve the town centre, respecting its history and beautiful natural surroundings, ‘Creativity and the Arts’ to capitalise on the town’s unique offer to deliver “Shakespeare plus” – to provide creativity and arts beyond the RSC

Another aim is to create a ‘Great Vibe, a Fun Place’ – a vibrant town with a more inclusive and playful approach, a multigenerational community with a great ‘vibe’. A place that’s fun for everyone and all can afford to live in.

Finally to create an ‘Ease of Movement’ for everyone – maximising walking, cycling and public transport. A town that’s easy to get to and get through.

All three tiers of local government will need to endorse the draft strategy before it goes out to public consultation.

Members of SDC’s Cabinet gave their endorsement to the strategy on Monday (July 1).


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