CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS WITH TORBAY COMMUNITIES ON PLANS FOR TOWN CENTRE REDEVELOPMENT
TDA and Torbay Culture held an interactive design workshop on Wednesday 16th May to inform and influence plans for Station Square, Paignton. The plans for Station Square are coming forward in response to residents, businesses and visitors who say they want to see improvements to public space in Torbay’s town centres.
Invited representatives from across the community in Paignton worked closely with the recently-appointed design team (QSPM, Kay Elliott, Phil Jones Associates and lead artist Ginkgo Projects) at the event at Paignton Library, exploring the local area and discussing ideas for improvements for Station Square that meet the needs of all users. Doorstep Arts’ Erin Walcon facilitated the conversations, which also covered aspects of local heritage and the importance of connecting Station Square to destinations nearby such as the seafront and Palace Avenue.
TDA, Torbay Council and Torbay Culture are working together through the Great Place Scheme, using creative approaches to community engagement to ensure the highest quality regeneration of public realm in Torbay. The ambition is for Station Square to reflect a clear sense of local identity that meets the needs of multiple users - creating a social, cultural and economic destination.
Last year Torbay Council committed resources to producing concept designs for a number of improvement projects. The Council has now provided the funding (£1.2m) to progress the project in Paignton’s Station Square – specifically the junction around Hyde Road, Victoria Street and Torbay Road. Construction is due to take place between January and June 2019, avoiding the busy Christmas and summer seasons.
Elected Mayor for Torbay, Gordon Oliver, said: “This event was a great opportunity for those that use and travel through Paignton Station Square to come along and provide their views and thoughts on how this area could look.
“We are committed to regenerating Torbay, and it’s an exciting time as we see these ideas come to fruition. I look forward to seeing the designs and the impact these changes will have for our residents, businesses and visitors who use Paignton Town Centre.”
Pat Steward, Town Centre Regeneration Programme Director at TDA, said: “Today provided a fantastic opportunity to bring together the knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm of a wide range of people who care about Paignton’s future, from technical, community, business and cultural perspectives, to ensure the improvements to Paignton’s Station Square are a success.
“We’re now very much looking forward to inviting everyone back later on in the year to show how we have incorporated these ideas.”
Anna Matthews, Project Manager at Torbay Culture, said: “Investment from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund through the Great Place Scheme is opening up new, creative conversations across Torbay about what we want for the future of this place.
“We are really pleased to be able bring people together to actively take part in the design process, and to be ambitious for Paignton whilst keeping hold of what makes it special."
Feedback from the workshop will be used by the design team as they develop the public realm design for Station Square. A similar event will be held in the coming months to shape plans for improvements to The Strand in Torquay.