Arup has been appointed by Kingston Council, Kingston First and the Business Improvement District, to develop a new vision for Kingston town centre
The study will look at the opportunities and challenges facing Kingston town centre and will drive its future employment, cultural, education, business, transport and regeneration offer.
Working with Arup, Kingston Council in partnership with Kingston First will review options for the town centre including key sites such as the Cattle Market Car Park, Surrey House, Eden Quarter, Guildhall and Ashdown Road Car Park. The sites will be analysed as to how they can meet these challenges and deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes that support the borough’s residents, businesses and visitors in years to come.
The future approach and direction will be developed with residents and other key town centre users including Transport for London, major landowners and local businesses. The findings of the study will then be developed into a strategy taking into consideration national trends in retailing, technological advances, and population growth.
Town centre downturn
Town centres across the country are facing increased pressure to adapt to changing consumer behaviours where demands for experience, culture and increased social spaces are a top priority.
In addition, there is a requirement for residential growth in the borough as the population in London continues to rise.
Nazeya Hussain, executive director of Place at Kingston Council, said: “I am committed to involving residents, major landholders and businesses as we embark on a major exercise to develop a vision for Kingston town centre.
“As the boroughs largest town centre, it will need to play a critical role in both accommodating growth, and play a strategic role in providing an economic, social, and cultural offer for the entire borough.
“I am looking forward, along with our strategic partner Kingston First, to developing a vision that will set the groundwork and our aspirations over the next 15 years and ensure that the very best of Kingston is preserved and enhanced as well as make a positive contribution to the future of the town centre to accommodate a wider range of uses such as residential, culture, community services and workspaces.”
The future of Kingston Town Centre
Kirsten Henly, chief executive at Kingston First, commented: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Kingston Council to appoint the forward-thinking, industry leader Arup to develop a vision for the future of Kingston Town Centre.
“At a time where consumer behaviours are changing, this vision is more important than ever before, it will provide a framework for the evolution of the town centre, ensuring Kingston remains a great place to work, live and visit for years to come.”
Joanna Rowelle, integrated city planning director at Arup, added: “This is a priority project for Kingston Council and our team brings a range of multidisciplinary expertise to help them further develop their vision for Kingston Town Centre, creating a set of proposals that will form the basis for its long-term economic success.
“The town centre has a long history and lots of positive assets. We will work with the council and community to build on these existing strengths, while also identifying opportunities to deliver a vision for a thriving town centre that puts local people’s needs at its heart.”