Exhibitions to showcase improvements to town centre facilities

February 12, 2009

The New Swindon Company (TNSC) and Swindon Borough Council are giving local people the chance to view and comment on plans for outdoor improvements at Canal Walk.  Public exhibitions will be held at the Brunel Centre on Friday 13 February from 10am until 4.30pm and Saturday 14 February 2009 from 10am until 1.30pm.

Canal Walk runs from Wharf Green to Jubilee Square. Current plans for improvements include new paving, landscaping, street furniture, public art and lighting.

The overall concept for this public realm development is to create a high quality design, based on the theme of a ‘ribbon’. TNSC will be looking to develop green areas within the town centre, to give a rural feel – this could include ‘living’ green walls, such as those in London and Paris. The Jubilee Clock will be relocated and replaced with a public art installation, creating a centre piece for Canal Walk. It is intended that the Jubilee Clock itself will be repaired and be part of the station forecourt redevelopment. There are also plans to install LED lighting into the street scape and green walls, which will light up in differing weather conditions – bringing something unique into the area.

Public realm plays an important role in the wider regeneration framework of Swindon, and this exhibition will give local people a real feel for what changes are about to take place in the town centre – the work itself is due to begin on site early this summer.

Peter James, Chief Executive of the New Swindon Company, commented: “Our vision for Swindon is to create a town centre that is attractive to visitors, workers and local residents alike. Good quality public areas are key elements in achieving this, and following the successful transformation of Wharf Green, Canal Walk is the next big step in public realm improvements.”

Cllr Phil Young, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “It’s great to see change progressing in Swindon. It’s very important to us to set a high standard with public realm improvements, and we want to hear what local people have to say. I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to these exhibitions.”

Canal Walk is being redeveloped in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and is funded by the government’s Growth Point Funds, which was set up to support regeneration of towns and cities in the UK. Arup is the Project Manager on the scheme, Nicholas Pearson Associates is the landscape architect and Dianna Hatton Consultancy is the public art consultant.

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