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TOWN CENTRE DEVELOPMENT

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An exciting project to involve artists and communities in reshaping the ‘gateways’ to Torbay's town centres - developing flexible, inspiring public spaces and high quality, pedestrian-focused street design. We are working with partners on a revitalised future for Paignton’s Station Square and Torquay’s Strand.

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Nothing says more about a town than its centre. It is the place that brings people together from across all its neighbourhoods, as well as from overseas, nearby cities, towns and villages. The centre is a town’s heart and will be the part of town that most residents and visitors will know. Rightly or wrongly, it will be the place that determines the view of many people of the town in its entirety. Put simply, Torbay’s town centres matter.

Torbay Council’s Transformation Strategy identifies a number of priority areas for investment and regeneration, with the aim of shaping a greater, more attractive and vibrant mix of uses, where the character and history of the place shines through. Under-exploited cultural assets have a critical part to play in the regeneration of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. We believe that putting culture at the centre of this work can ensure that character and history is drawn from local people and reflected in the resulting schemes in an authentic, inspiring and valued way.

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The scope for the project is to deliver two schemes from design stage to completion - Station Square, Paignton and The Strand, Torquay. In each location, the project aims to deliver:

  • High quality town centre, developed and delivered in accordance with RIBA Stage processes

  • Stakeholder consultation activity

  • Creative public engagement activity

  • Designs and drawings, commissioned from a design team that includes a lead artist

  • Artistic commissions which integrate into the schemes.

In 2010, a project called 'Torbay Connected' was delivered by Torbay Council and partners to investigate how artists could be involved in the development of urban public spaces and we are building on this learning to integrate culture into the latest schemes.

We will work with TDA and Torbay Council to develop meaningful public engagement using creative methods, and to put an artist into the design team. The projects will be delivered in phases to ensure the developments keep track with available funding.

Paignton Town Square

The scheme focuses on improvements around the railway station area, the junction of Victoria Street and Torbay Road. The project looks to create:

  • A shared ‘gathering place’ for residents and visitors at this crucial arrival point in the town;

  • Better links between Paignton Station square, the town centre, heritage and cultural sites (Winner Street, Palace Theatre, Paignton Picture House) and the sea front

  • A catalyst for change in the station area, including the restoration of Paignton Picture House and a potential new civic hub around the library, bus and train stations (including rail station refurbishment) and

  • Support for investment in other regeneration projects, including the Victoria Centre and Crossways.

The Strand, Torquay

This scheme will reconnect Torquay town centre with its harbour, creating a new, flexible urban space on the waterfront. It forms the first phase of a larger public realm improvement scheme that will include Cary Parade, Fleet Street and the Clock Tower/Torwood Street/Victoria Parade. The improvements will complement the work previously undertaken around Torquay Harbour in 2006. The project seeks to deliver:

  • The creation of Torquay Harbour as a destination in itself

  • Better vehicle and pedestrian access with a new bus interchange and simplified road crossings, changing the location of bus waiting areas to make the most of the view of the harbour

  • New seating, planting, lighting and cafés

  • Support for investment in other projects including Harbour View, Princess Gardens and the Harbour Hotel schemes.

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The anticipated outcomes include:

  • Increased vitality, spend and footfall in the town centre, boosting businesses and the economy

  • Further investment in Torbay, its town centres and in cultural interventions

  • Increased awareness of the heritage of the local area for residents and visitors, attracting additional visitors to the area

  • Clearer sense of positive local identity and increased sense of pride amongst local people

  • Added momentum to delivery of town centre regeneration, increasing market confidence and levering in private sector investment

  • Higher profile for local arts and cultural practitioners and greater sense of cultural value at strategic and grassroots level.

Learning from the project will inform the development of a new vision and strategy for public art in Torbay.

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TDA is leading this project on behalf of Torbay Council. Torbay Culture is working with TDA and the Council to ensure that scheme designers, creative practitioners, local people and local organisations are involved in a creative, meaningful, engaging design period and artistic/heritage interventions are integrated throughout the final schemes. Ginkgo Projects were appointed in March 2018 as the Lead Artist within the design team.

Following an open call, Adam Nathaniel Furman has been commissioned as an artist for the Paignton scheme. Peter Marigold has been commissioned as an artist for the Torquay scheme.

To find out more about this project, please visit www.investintorbay.com/town-centres-regeneration or contact enquiries@tda.uk.net.

This Town Centre Development project is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of Torbay's Great Place Scheme.

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A design team for both schemes, including an embedded lead artist, was appointed in March 2018 to deliver public engagement, modelling and detailed designs to RIBA Stage 3. This work will began in April 2018.

May 2018 - Paignton community and business engagement through artist-led design workshop [complete]
June 2018 - Feedback to Paignton workshop participants through sharing of revised designs [complete]
July 2018 - Torquay Strand community and business engagement through artist-led design workshop [complete]
December 2018 - Feedback to Torquay Strand workshop participants through sharing of revised designs [complete]
January to April 2019 - Production of the RIBA Stage 3 designs and reports, incorporating all feedback, ideas and suggestions [underway]
April 2019 to March 2020 - Work to develop a public art strategy for Torbay

Work in developing and submitting funding bids to support the implementation of the designs is ongoing.

 
 
“Culture is no longer being seen as an add-on, it’s integral to many of our key projects, from the creation of new public space to improving how we move around the Bay.”

– Jim Blackwell, Spatial Planning, Torbay Council