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Re-designing our streets and city centres post Covid-19

Public realm improvements to Grey Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (LDA Design)

Newcastle City Council has announced its vision to transform the city centre in order to boost post Covid-19 recovery and Michelle Percy, Director of Planning from the Council will be speaking about the schemes at our May forum.

Proposed designs by LDA Design will see key streets pedestrianised as part of a £50 million city centre wide revamp that aims to create a healthier green city, drawing investment into the centre.

The vision is for world-class public realm which reinforces identity and civic pride by providing a fitting setting for the city's architecture, landmarks and art installations. The Council wants to make the city centre a more beautiful and attractive place to spend time, bringing nature in and improving connectivity by re-connecting fragmented parts of the city.

Northumberland Street, the city's main shopping street, will be transformed with trees and planting into a relaxing place to be enjoyed all year round. Nearby Ridley Place and Saville Row will host independent local retailers and crafts people, with pop-up food stalls and a flower market in Ridley Place.

Further changes include a longer term plan to remove vehicle traffic from Grey Street and Blackett street in the heart of the city centre, making them safer and improving the environment for residents and businesses.

This would see Grey Street transformed with new planting, paving and seating, to become a hub for cultural events and performance and ultimately the primary pedestrian route between the city centre and Quayside.

LDA Design is lead designer for the city centre transformation. The council has already secured over £20 million to begin work on a number of city centre streets this summer, with the remaining £30 million to be raised through grants and private funding. The transformation programme includes plans for the historic Grainger Market.

Leader of Newcastle City Centre, Cllr Nick Forbes, said city centres need to adapt to survive:

'We are launching our plans to create a city centre that gives residents and visitors what they want - pleasant open spaces to meet and socialise, a more diverse range of shops, safer streets that are free of traffic where people can walk freely and attractions that offer families lots of things to do that are fun and educational. We also need to provide great places to live in the heart of our city, in order for it to remain vibrant and exciting.'


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