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Getting to the heart of Wokingham

Getting to the heart of Wokingham

27 October 2015

Wokingham Borough Council and Wokingham Town Council have come together with exciting proposals for making Wokingham a place of which residents can be proud. 

With plans for things such as new schools, more shops and new leisure facilities already in place around Wokingham, the councils are also looking to improve public spaces within the town centre by creating great looking, flexible and high quality environments.  

As part of these plans the councils are keen to share their emerging ideas with local residents for two of the most important public areas in the town centre: the existing Market Place, which forms the heart of the town; and the new public square which will be created when Peach Place is redeveloped in 2017. 

Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for highways and planning at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “We’ve been working hard to get the right roads in place with projects like station link road and the distributor roads to ensure that we can move traffic around the area, but we also need to ensure that other users of the town centre are not forgotten. 

“Creating great environments for people in the town is an incredibly important part of getting the visitor experience right. We need to create wonderful spaces for Wokingham where the balance between the pedestrian and vehicles is improved, where pedestrians feel safe, relaxed and can enjoy being in the town.  We also want to continue holding great events and markets.”

As part of this process the councils are hosting some events where people can find out more about what is proposed for the heart of the town centre, and get involved in helping to shape the public spaces going forward.  

Cllr Peter Lucey, chairman of the market development working party at Wokingham Town Council, said: "The town council is delighted to be working in partnership with the borough council to make much-needed improvements to Market Place. 

“We are looking forward to a high quality and beautiful space that can be used by the whole community; we believe it will really improve the appearance of the town centre, complement our fully-restored Victorian Town Hall, and give Wokingham a much-improved area for markets, events and all manner of activities that support our local retailers, businesses, citizens and visitors. This is truly what both councils are committed to achieve."

Get involved

The initial two events are being held on Friday November 6 and Saturday November 7 between 10am and 2pm where local residents can come along to a stall in Market Place. They will have the chance to view the latest proposals for Market Place improvements, which are based on comments received to date, while taking on board site constraints.  Representatives from both the town council and borough council will be on hand to answer questions about the Market Place scheme. 

This will be followed by a workshop on Monday November 16 between 7pm and 9pm where people will have the opportunity to get involved with looking at things such as materials, street furniture, and signage – for both Market Place and Peach Place.  While the two projects are separate, they would complement each other. It is envisaged common themes would flow through the town.

This builds on from the work following previous consultations on the Public Realm in 2013, and Peach Place in 2014. 

More information

There are limited spaces available for the workshop and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To request a space on the workshop please email: wokingham.environmental.improvements@wokingham.gov.uk.