‘town centre placemaking strategy’ stakeholder workshop

On the 18th of December ‘Better Porthcawl’ were invited to a Stakeholder Engagement workshop by Bridgend County Borough Council, in order to represent the community on Porthcawl Town Centre’s Placemaking Strategy.

Better Porthcawl Partnership, identified by BCBC as a key stakeholder, attended the meeting at the Hi-Tide along with Porthcawl Town Council, Porthcawl Chamber of Trade, A Voice for the Future of Porthcawl and representatives of Porthcawl Comprehensive School.

“The Town Centre Placemaking Strategy provides an opportunity to create a dynamic document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development for Porthcawl Town Centre, whilst respecting and reinforcing its strengths. A key part of the work involves identifying issues and threats which limit the full potential of the town centre and show consideration of how this can be addressed.” (BCBC, November, 23)

The event was run by Architectural Designers, Austin-Smith:Lord and also attended by Jacob Lawrence, BCBC Principle Regeneration Officer, and Billy Stark, BCBC Principle Regeneration Officer.

Austin-Smith:Lord architects presented re: Porthcawl Town Centre Place Making, informing the group on footfall and figures on building standards. We gathered around a large floor map of Porthcawl and generally discussed areas of the town centre that worked and those that needed improvement. The history of the town centre was featured, and as stakeholders we were asked how important they felt the historic past was today and whether that needed more or less representation.

Accessibility into the town-centre was also a key topic of discussion. Stakeholders spoke of the limitations of accessing John Street from the north end of Hillsborough Place, both in terms of ease of access and aesthetics. The linkages between the new Aldi development and John Street was also mentioned and the need to encourage shoppers back into John Street from Aldi.

Areas that required development were the area labeled ‘The Square’, and the former Knights Arms, situated behind B&M, which has been left derelict. Stakeholders discussed the potential of this area and ideas on how it could be developed. As well as the historic significance of the area and how this could be restored with development.

Car parking in the town centre was also mentioned in terms of the development of Hillsborough Car Park and the Town Centre Car Park. The current layout could be improved within Hillsborough Car Park adding additional spaces. This was suggested as a quick fix to some of the parking issues in town.

Businesses within the town centre were discussed and the type of businesses that are attracted into Porthcawl Town Centre. It was noted that Porthcawl ranks well compare to other town centres in terms of variety of businesses and shop vacancies. It was discussed how the council could attract more independent businesses into the town centre. The development of South Hillsborough Car Park with shipping containers was noted as a way of giving small businesses the opportunity to start with lower rents and shorter-term leases.

Another issue noted by the younger attendees of the workshop was the lack of things to do in the Town Centre, after shopping there is not really a space for young people. On this note, the nightlife of Porthcawl Town Centre was also mentioned, stakeholders noted that businesses closed at 4pm and then there was little atmosphere in the town centre in the evenings.

It was interesting to think about Porthcawl Town Centre in terms of it’s strengths and weaknesses. We all were pleased to be invited to the event, however, feel that we weren’t representative of the wider Porthcawl community. Indeed, we thought the Porthcawl Civic Trust should have attended, as they have a lot to offer, as would the Porthcawl Museum Society and of course more of the actual traders. actual traders. Although we are aware that a wider public consultation is proposed to take place in February, we suggest that the Architectural team take opportunity to meet with more groups to gain further insight into the town’s strengths and weaknesses at the earliest opportunity.

Better Porthcawl Partnership has been established for the intention of obtaining a meaningful link for discussion between BCBC and Porthcawl’s stakeholder groups/wider local public. We encourage stakeholders to contact us in the hope that we can grow into a powerful, representative voice for Porthcawl ahead of the forthcoming/further regeneration processes.

We hope to continue in our placemaking/place planning discussions with BCBC and we would be delighted to welcome wider contribution from individuals and community groups.

Thus far our group discussions have involved representatives from Chamber of Trade, Sustainable Wales, A Voice for the Future Porthcawl and the Porthcawl Civic Trust.

Each of these groups have also therefore been afforded the opportunity to attend Stakeholder events, via BCBC, and hosted by the Architectural and Planning consultancy Austin-Smith:Lord

Share on:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News

A drop-in session and three-week public consultation is set to ask residents and businesses in Porthcawl for their views and thoughts on how the town centre can develop, thrive