As the hub of the town and the setting for our historic buildings and beautiful town hall, the Market Place is about to receive a long awaited and well-deserved improvement.
This is a £3.8million partnership project between Wokingham Borough and Wokingham Town councils.
The new residential developments mean the town is experiencing considerable growth but with this comes developer funding and both councils have agreed to use this to benefit the whole community and ensure that the heart of the town is improved for everyone to enjoy.
Wokingham Town Mayor Cllr Gwynneth Hewetson said: "Our newly refurbished Market Place will be a fantastic heart of the town where we can all enjoy sunshine, coffee, food and entertainment and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.
"You will see a lovely new space, paved with beautiful natural York stone, more even with trees in proper tree pits, a Market Place that provides a beautiful setting for our Town Hall and all the heritage buildings that frame it. Wokingham is one of the best places in the country to live and this improvement will make it even better. In the meantime let’s all support our businesses in town while we work to make the new space a reality."
Josie Wragg, interim director of environment, said: "This scheme demonstrates great partnership working with Wokingham Town Council. We’re well underway with our plans to regenerate the town centre, and it’s important that Market Place, the heart of our town, is redesigned and opened up to its full potential.
"Some 13,000 homes will be built in our Borough by 2026, with Wokingham taking its vast share. The town is growing and we need to have the facilities in place to support our communities. The scheme will bring real benefits to both residents, traders and businesses alike, and is being funded in the main by developer contributions."
Why are we doing this?
- Tired, cluttered, disjointed and uneven space
- Poor quality, slippery surface and significant tree root damage causing trip hazards and localized flooding
- Challenging for people with access difficulties
- Improved Rose Street junction
- Dangerous bus lane
- Limited facilities for the market or events
What will you see?
- Level, high quality, natural stone surfacing
- Flexible space to allow the market to thrive and grow
- Improved space for our many community events
- Better utilities for the market and events
- Continental-style space for restaurants, coffee shops and pubs
- Beautiful semi-mature trees, planted in pits to allow healthy growth
- Designed to slow down traffic
- Additional disabled parking with some short-stay evening parking
- Dedicated loading bays to reduce congestion
- Removal of the bus lane
- Parking restrictions to be enforced
- Additional courtesy crossings for pedestrians
- Comfortable bench seating to relax and enjoy the sunshine
- Feature lighting for trees and Town Hall
- Inclusive access for all
When is it happening?
- Work onsite begins in June 2017
- Completion end of March 2018
- Work undertaken in phases with businesses accessible throughout
- Wokingham Town Centre remains very much open for business