Stockton Town Centre has been awarded a top design accolade.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has won a National Urban Design Award for the regeneration of the High Street.
The scheme, which was designed by the Council’s in-house design team, was shortlisted for the 2016 Francis Tibbalds Public Sector Award alongside projects from The Corporation of the City of London and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “We are delighted that the Stockton Town Centre regeneration scheme has been recognised in this way. We wanted to create a High Street which not only looks good but also is easy to access and feels welcoming and lively. This award acknowledges that we have achieved that.
“Stockton is now much more attractive thanks to new paving and seating, and the introduction of flexible spaces mean it is possible to host a variety of markets and events which encourage people to come into the town and spend money.”
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Nigel Cooke, added: “Stockton Town Centre is now a wonderful place to live, work, visit and enjoy. Business confidence is growing with many independent businesses choosing to make Stockton High Street their home. This, combined with the busy events programme, is helping the town offer something different from other retail centres.
“Now there is more parking on and near the High Street it is much easier for people to visit the town’s markets, events, shops, businesses, cafes and restaurants and the improved lighting is helping people feel safe so more visitors can take advantage of all the town has to offer on an evening too from live music and theatre to dining at the town’s restaurants.”
The Urban Design Group’s Urban Design Awards were launched in 2007, since then the shortlisting panel has considered more than 300 submissions highlighting some of the outstanding and innovative urban design work being undertaken throughout the UK and further afield.
Among the judges’ comments were, “It’s great to hear that an attractive, and in house designed, town centre regeneration has led to new businesses opening and improved footfall, as well as hosting the British Cycling Road Championships.”
The two and a half year £38million rejuvenation of Stockton Town Centre has seen improvements to the road layout and parking, the introduction of energy saving lighting, the creation of a dedicated place for the regular market as well as flexible spaces for specialist markets and events. Meanwhile a water feature at the heart of the town has become a focal point where children can play and people can sit, relax and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the High Street.