A redesign of Marlborough Square in Coalville has been approved by North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) Cabinet.
The redesign, which has been drawn up alongside local businesses and organisations that use the square, includes pedestrianising most of the area and creating an open space that can be used for events.
Part of the council’s Choose Coalville project, which aims to regenerate and build confidence in the town, this development sees NWLDC investing a further £1.1 million in the town.
The proposed concept plan creates a high quality public square, with:
- Outdoor seating areas
- New tree planting
- A more pedestrian friendly environment, with vehicles encouraged to slow down using narrower carriageways and alternative surfacing
- Improved bus passenger waiting areas
- A new taxi rank
- Underground power cabling to allow events to take place more easily
- A Christmas tree pit
- New public art.
Changes to the traffic flow will mean vehicles can only travel through the square one way – from Jackson Street to Belvoir Road. The free parking spaces currently in the square will be re-provided elsewhere, with a small number of very short stay parking spaces remaining.
The plan has been developed in consultation with 29 businesses and organisations that are based on Marlborough Square and on the surrounding roads. It has overall support from these businesses, who welcome the plans.
Paul Hocking owns 2 Fat Ladies Leisure Ltd. which has recently taken over the former Flutters bingo club in Marlborough Square. He said: “We fully believe that the new proposals for the square match our ambition and aspirations for the bingo club and this plan definitely had an influence on our decision to purchase the site.
“We are totally behind the proposal and believe that this ambitious regeneration of the area can only help our business in the future. It is refreshing to see the local council is like minded and willing to work with local businesses.”
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of NWLDC, said: “We know there is a local desire to make Marlborough Square great again. Once a real central point in the town, the square is now cluttered and isn’t a nice place to be. If you’re going to judge a town, you judge it by its public spaces, and what we’ve got at the moment in Marlborough Square is pretty poor. These plans will put the soul back into the square, allowing the council and others to hold events there and creating a much nicer public space for Coalville.
“We’re particularly pleased that businesses and organisations around the square, and others that use it, including the bus and taxi companies, have worked with us to develop this redesign, which we believe ticks the box for most people. I’m looking forward to seeing it take shape.”
Leicestershire County Council has been commissioned to carry out detailed design work, which will include ground investigations and technical modelling, which should be complete by April 2018.
Once the final plans are drawn up, it will take up to six months to carry out the work, with the new square expected to be completed by winter 2018/19.