Caldicot is a small town based around a central pedestrianised retail core. It was developed in the 1960s with a public realm makeover during the 80s. Over the past 20 years, like many centres, it saw a downturn in trade and use, leading to the town looking tired and neglected.
We needed to prepare a vision and development plan which not only mapped a long-term strategy for the town, but which also built immediate confidence through a series of short-term quick wins. As well as dealing with the built environment, the strategy needed to be about people with help and support from the community.
Following our own thorough place and context analysis, we asked the community to identify issues and opportunities which needed to be resolved or exploited. This approach enabled us to the prepare a strategy using our professional findings, while taking into account the needs of the community.
We prepared an overarching vision and development plan which set out long-term goals based around a series of projects and positive interventions. In conjunction with Chris Jones Studio, we evolved this into a delivery strategy which set out a project and time-based road map for the delivery of the vision.
The first short term project, which has now been completed on site, was the creation of an improved focal square at The Cross. This intervention reclaimed a tired and traffic-dominated space into a people-focused public square, set at the historic core of the town.
We delivered a shopfront design guide to support a grant-funded improvement scheme. The Cross project has stimulated confidence with several shop owners who are now submitting grant applications to deliver real physical improvements to their businesses.
We are now working on the next set of interventions which include the primary pedestrianised core, improvements to active travel links, green infrastructure, and sustainable urban drainage.