The northern end of Woodley shopping centre is to get a £340,000 makeover to make it a more flexible space for traders, shoppers and community events.
Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive agreed this week (27 October) to release £250,000 in developers’ contributions to fund the scheme in the north precinct, to go with £90,000 third party funding already set aside.
The project will refresh the precinct, from the pavement next to the disabled parking bays northwards, remove cluttered and dated street furniture to install contemporary street furniture to complement those already in the south part of the shopping area.
The furniture will be positioned to create a family and community zone with play markings to create a meeting place. Lighting in the north section will also be improved.
The existing pagoda will be replaced with a modern multi-use performance shelter, and relocated near the pub car park.
The aim is to open up the area to create a community space for outdoor events such as concerts, alfresco dining and pop-up exhibitions, and make it more family friendly with extra seating that can be put out when needed.
“The northern end of the precinct is cluttered and dated with a mismatch of street furniture that restricts how the space is used,” said Cllr Angus Ross, executive member for the environment.
“Compared to the popular south end of the precinct, footfall is much lower in the north because it doesn’t encourage shoppers to stop, linger and browse.”
The borough council has been working on exciting new designs with the Woodley Town Council (WTC) and the Woodley Town Centre Management Initiative (WTCMI) and other groups using the area.
“The space will become more inviting, will look and feel much safer and increasing the number of people walking through will help the businesses in and around it,” said Cllr Ross.
“The new innovative space for children will add to this, giving people a new attraction. It also means lots more events and activities can be held.”
The £90,000 in third party funding comes from the WTC, the WTCMI and the Mary Portas scheme. The developers’ contributions all relate to housing developments in Woodley.
Please note - the photo above is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect the final design.