Waterlooville town centre regeneration: Festival of Ideas to be held so residents can voice their views

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An ideas 'hub' is set to be created in Waterlooville as part of an initiative to help bring about a regeneration of the town centre.

A masterplan is being drawn up to help with the regeneration of Waterlooville - especially the town centreA masterplan is being drawn up to help with the regeneration of Waterlooville - especially the town centre
A masterplan is being drawn up to help with the regeneration of Waterlooville - especially the town centre

The former Game shop in the precinct is to be transformed into a hub, bringing together influential minds that represent key community groups, organisations, businesses and local knowledge to help shape a future for the town centre.

It forms part of the Waterlooville Town Centre Masterplan, with Havant Borough Council hosting a Festival of Ideas event from Monday, January 22 to Thursday, January 25 feature workshops, talks and drop in activities for people to take part in, the the initial ideas for themselves, find out more and ask questions.

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Key themes such as living, play, leisure, retail and access will be looked at over the four days. Events at Game include: Monday, January 22– Welcome event, 6pm-9pm; Tuesday, January 23 – The Town Past and Present, 9.30am, 11am, 1.30pm and 6pm; Wednesday, January 24 – Designing Our Future, 9.30am, 11am, 1.30pm and 6pm; Thursday, January 25 – Making It Happen – 9.30am, 11am, 1.30pm and 6pm. A full list of the programme can be found here.

Councillor Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council said “We would like to invite everyone to attend as many of these events as their time allows.  We appreciate that everyone has time constraints so by running sessions throughout the day until the evening we hope that everyone will find time to take part.

“This project will only be successful with the input, contributions and ideas from those who live, work and visit the town centre – your perspectives, your experiences, and your aspirations are crucial in designing your future town centre.”

The drive for regeneration comes after a number of retailers pulled out of the town centre with large parts of it unoccupied and empty. This includes Waitrose, Shoezone, Peacocks, M&Co and Game. The popularity of Wellington Retail Park and the ongoing growth of the retail park of Elettra Avenue has also created a shift away from town centre shopping. High hopes of new leisure facilities, supported by the rapid housing development at Newlands - also known as Berewood - have also not yet come into fruition.

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However the largely empty Wellington Shopping Centre in the town centre has recently had a refurbishment in a bid to revitalise the town and bring more units in, a growing number of community events have been taking place within the town centre and three hours of free parking at Dukes Walk have been a boost for the town.

To find out more and to register your place at the Festival of Ideas event, visit www.havant.gov.uk/waterlooville. You can also register your place at the Festival of Ideas here

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