Council launches consultation on emerging Rugby Town Centre Regeneration Plan
Rugby Borough Council seek residents' views on ambitious ideas for a once in a generation transformation of Rugby town Centre.
The emerging Rugby Town Centre Regeneration Plan outlines a bold vision for the future, setting out the guiding principles for redevelopment and a number of 'big idea' projects which have a vital role in revitalising the town centre.
Key areas of focus include commercial resilience, movement and public spaces and future proofing the town centre, whilst placing emphasis on delivery including the redevelopment of key town centre sites.
The forthcoming plan will take into consideration the major projects already in the pipeline for Rugby town centre, such as the redevelopment of Rounds Gardens, Rugby Central's desire to explore redevelopment opportunities and the Caldecott Square development on the site of the former Herbert Grey College.
The 'big ideas' include the creation of a Rugby Hub, where multi-agency partners co-locate to provide public sector services in a holistic way to reduce health inequalities, improve access to services, and strengthen community resilience.
Other big ideas focus on redesigning parts of the town centre's road network, including transforming Evreux Way into a high-quality 'gateway' into the centre and reworking the gyratory system next to Rugby School to create a more welcoming and safer environment.
The proposed objectives for consideration include building commercial resilience by supporting businesses and creating a blend of retail and leisure experiences, and improving the town centre environment by focusing on pedestrians and public transport while creating greener streets.
The council has also outlined its strategy to deliver the plan, working with the community, public sector partners, landowners, key stakeholders and investors to drive regeneration forward.
The Rugby Town Centre Regeneration Plan is being developed by the council in partnership with strategic real estate adviser Avison Young, masterplanners, Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners, and transport and movement specialists Urban Flow.
Plans have progressed an initial public consultation earlier this year, when nearly 1,300 residents voiced views on how the town centre could be improved.
Cllr Seb Lowe, leader of Rugby Borough Council, said the views of residents have and will continue to help shape the regeneration plan, with a six-week public consultation launching today (Thursday 30 September) to give residents the chance to feedback on the emerging ideas.
"Town centres across the country face significant challenges, challenges which the pandemic has both brought into sharper focus and made more immediate," Cllr Lowe said.
"However, I firmly believe Rugby has the economic foundations on which we can build a town centre which is right for Rugby.
"We remain one of the fastest growing boroughs in the country and our central location and excellent transport links mean Rugby remains an attractive place to live, work and do business.
"The Rugby Town Centre Regeneration Plan will set out an ambitious vision for our town centre and combines over-arching objectives and principles, such as commitments on the environment, with detailed proposals for redevelopment," Cllr Lowe added.
"It's important we now hear from residents before finalising the plan and starting work on delivering regeneration in Rugby town centre."
A consultation exhibition opens in the foyer of Rugby Art Gallery and Museum today, giving residents the chance to find out more about the regeneration plan and complete the consultation survey.
The council has also launched a dedicated website - www.rugbytowncentre.org.uk - where residents can view the plan and complete the survey online.
And during an 'in person' exhibition event on Monday 25 October at the Benn Hall, residents can see the exhibition and speak to members of the regeneration team from 2pm to 7pm.
Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "The Rugby Town Centre Regeneration Plan will form a key component of the council's work to spearhead the borough's economic recovery from the pandemic.
"It will be an ambitious plan which takes a holistic approach to regeneration, using guiding principles to create a framework for sustainable redevelopment which can help deliver a vibrant town centre where people can live, work and spend time.
"The consultation proposes the steps which need to be taken to deliver on its ambition, and we now want to hear from residents to make sure we get this right for Rugby."
The public consultation runs until Thursday 11 November.