Local residents and businesses are being invited to give their views on some proposed improvements to Hinckley town centre.
As part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) project, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Historic England and Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership are working together to improve the public areas along Castle Street, around Church Walk car park and to some of the yards and jitties. The aim of these improvements is to make the area more welcoming, make the most of the character features and to improve walking access and movement around the town.
Residents, businesses and all interested parties can look and comment on the design proposals (hinckleyshaz.commonplace) for the area around the Church Walk car park including options for street furniture and landscaping by visiting or meet the HSHAZ team in person on Friday 17 September, 10am to 2pm at Hinckley Market (Castle Street) or Tuesday 28 September, 10am to 2pm at the Hinckley BID office, 76 Castle Street, Hinckley.
In April 2021, the Borough Council carried out a Visitor, Resident and Business Survey to gain a better understanding of how people used and experienced the town centre, what improvements they would like to see and what they valued and deemed important to them. The survey results provided useful information and evidence to progress the development plans for the public spaces and street scene in Hinckley.
The survey concluded that:
- Hinckley has a number of valued assets including a rich and long history, a full events programme and Argents Mead – a high quality central green space. And, there was a desire to see these assets ‘opened up’ and celebrated
- In line with national trends, most respondents felt the town-centre was at risk of decline as shopping habits change. There were however, positive elements highlighted, including people describing the town centre as having ‘potential’ and being a ‘pleasant’ and ‘friendly’ place, strengthening the case for investment
- There was broad recognition that the town-centre needed to embrace change in a way which enhances the visitor experience with renewed focus on culture, entertainment, leisure and the quality of the public realm – which in turn could help to boost footfall and the variety of retail on offer
- There was significant support for addressing the fragmentation of the town-centre including reconnecting some of the town’s key assets for example through improved signage and interpretation and reimagining the Church Walk car park area
Following the results of the survey, landscape designers McGregor Coxall has developed a range of design options to improve public spaces along Castle Street, Upper Castle Street and the area around the Church Walk car park.
The aim of these improvements is to make the area more welcoming, to make the most of the character features and to improve walking access and movement around the town and in particular between Castle Street and Argents Mead.
Paper copies of the proposals are also available on request, please telephone 01455 255625. All comments to be made or received by Friday 1 October 2021.
Deputy Leader of Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Cllr David Bill said:
I urge everyone to get involved in this project and take a look at the proposed designs, the teams involved want to hear your thoughts and opinions.
The earlier survey provided us with valuable information and we hope that shortly we will be in a position to start to progress things and start work in the not too distant future. The survival of our high street and town centre is vital to the local economy and these improvements will be a great boost.
For more information on the Hinckley HSHAZ and the High Street Heritage Action Zone schemes.