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Altrincham and Bowdon Civic Society holds workshops to help revitalise Altrincham
1:00pm Thursday 5th April 2012 in News
A VISION for restoring Altrincham to its former glory has been unveiled - literally.
The town's council chamber was the setting for two recent workshops involving residents and business people, that looked at ways to regenerate the market town.
The topics emerged out of the results of a survey of shoppers and visitors conducted by Altrincham and Bowdon Civic Society last summer, as part of Civic Voice's Civic Day, when members had stalls on Shaw's Road.
And this vision for improving the town was illustrated on a 'mind map', created by artist Emily Wilkinson.
The ideas included increasing the flexibility of the market buildings and streets so they can be used for additional events and activities; creating pedestrian dominated main streets free of bollards and clutter; improving accessibility to Kings Court and some innovative thinking on the under-used large space in the centre of Altrincham - the Causeway (off Cross Street).
Much of the vision created at the workshops will be fed into forthcoming plans for the market house, covered market, the old Altrincham General Hospital site and all the surrounding streets, which in part could become a new market square.
The plans will be commissioned from Altrincham company Planit-ie and their associates, by Citybranch, the developer of both the new hospital on Railway Street and the old site on Market Street.
The workshops were guided by Hannah Gibbs of the Glass-House Community Led Design, which is a national charity that works to help people to improve neighbourhoods.
Expertise and inspiration was provided by architect Elizabeth Motley, urban designer Hannah Elborn from Altrincham-based Planit-ie, along with Martin Stockley, who has implemented creative street and urban space schemes which introduce civility between users.
And a regeneration blueprint was visualised on the giant mind map by artist Emily Wilkinson.
The tailored support was the result of the Altrincham and Bowdon Civic Society's successful application to the government funded Building Community Consortium, which is intended to provide support to organisations involved in forming neighbourhood plans under the Localism Act.
Visit the civic society's new web site at www.altrinchamandbowdoncs.com for details of meetings and www.altrinchamheritage.com for information on heritage projects.