A LONG-PROMISED redevelopment of Riverside Shopping Centre, a revamp of the former Aldi site and a more ‘people-focused’ High Street are at the heart of proposals for Evesham’s town centre.
New visions for the future of Evesham, Pershore and Droitwich Spa have been unveiled with investment prospectuses drawn up by Wychavon and consultants CBRE in a bid to breathe new life into the town centres.
Among the objectives for Evesham in the 100-page document is an aim to develop the town as a leisure destination and a great day out by making the most of its picturesque River Avon setting.
Developing new events and attractions as well as tapping into the town’s position near to the Cotswolds to increase visitor numbers is also included.
The proposed Riverside Shopping Centre redevelopment into a modern, mixed-use development of up to 70 homes, alongside retail and leisure space has again been mooted, some four years after the initial plans were first mooted.
This will also open up views of the river and Abbey Park, reconnecting the jewels of the town’s rich heritage assets with the high street while improvements will also be made to Bridge Street.
Another long-running issue, the proposal to bring the public hall back into use as a new arts centre, is also part of the funding blueprint.
An ambitious plan to redevelop the former Aldi and Oat Street car park, Chapel Street car park and Cowl Street car park into the ‘Chapel Quarter’, new homes and apartments and tree planting to create an attractive walking route connected to the town centre, is also proposed.
A more pedestrian-friendly High Street with the creation of active travel links for walking or cycling, tree planting, rain gardens, new seating areas and traffic calming measures have all been tabled in the document.
Enhancements to the riverside parkland will also be made with a desire to expand on the existing Crown Meadow events programme while new trails could be introduced within Corporation Meadow and community play spaces focused around Abbey Park and Hampton ferry crossing.
It’s also hoped the Christmas Tree Farm site could become an active community space with natural and wild play spaces, allotments and orchards and additional walking trails.
Coun Bradley Thomas, leader of Wychavon District Council, hailed the document as a ‘powerful tool’ to attract investment into the towns.
“Our town centres have been under pressure for some time and the prospectuses represent a positive vision for the future of each of them,” he said.
“We can’t go back to how we did things before the Covid-19 pandemic. The future for our town centres is limited if we do that.
“But by thinking differently about our places, reimagining what’s possible, being bold and working together they have a bright future.”
Visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/town-centres for more.