An exhibition of the proposals for the new Westgate Theatre Square and the improvements to the surrounding parking and access will open today and the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich.
The neglected area above the Spiral Car Park and in front of the New Wolsey Theatre is to be transformed to provide a vibrant new public space with a new restaurant, to become ‘Westgate Theatre Square’. The development is intended to celebrate the importance of the New Wolsey Theatre as a key cultural venue in Ipswich. It will create an exciting new destination for the town, with a wide range of possible activities on offer, from extended outdoor café and dining, and informal meeting and gathering, to organised events and performance.
The square will also help better reconnect this part of the Town Centre by including a new pedestrian crossing over Civic Drive and a new link bridge offering a more direct route to Westgate Street. Improving accessibility for all has been a major consideration and level or ramped access has been provided throughout. Cycle parking has been provided at a number of locations around the Square to encourage people to visit by bike.
The Spiral and existing surface car parks will all be refurbished, with additional temporary car parking (for a period of up to 5 years) replacing the unsightly blue hoarding to the former civic centre site.
Click on the images from the exhibition below to open them in full screen.
The additional and refurbished car parking is planned to be open in time for Christmas trading 2015, with the creation of Theatre Square to be completed by Summer 2016. The development, which has been designed by Waind Gohil Architects and Ipswich practice AREA landscape architects, will be entirely privately funded by the new site owner, Charterhouse Investments LLP. As well as providing significant improvements now, these works will act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the former civic centre and police station sites over the next few years.
In response to the proposals, Sarah Holmes, Chief Executive at the New Wolsey Theatre says:
We would very much like to hear your feedback. Please email your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comments box in the side bar.
Dates when the designers will be available on site to discuss the scheme with interested members of the public will be confirmed shortly.
Full details of the proposals can be viewed and downloaded at Ipswich Borough Council Online Planning website, where you can also comment directly on planning-related issues.