Town Centre Recovery and Transformation

Setting the Brief for the Future of Lydney Town Centre
Client: Lydney Town Council, Gloucestershire

Lydney’s historic town centre’s responsiveness to meeting the town’s changing needs has maintained its position as a focus of the town’s shopping and services. But despite having a by-pass, the attractiveness of the high street centre is blighted by heavy traffic which severs it from its beautiful neighbouring park and Harbour. The impacts of a steady fall in footfall was exacerbated by the pandemic.

In 2021 Place Studio teamed up with market town regeneration experts Townswork and Streets Reimagined to help Lydney Town Council deliver its ambition to revitalise the town with an agenda of quick win actions and longer term investments to kick start and support local businesses in building a new long-term vitality. Their brief was for community and local business to lead shaping the agenda through up-front dialogue.

We built a quartet of engagement streams, all tailored to delivery during COVID-19 restrictions:

  • The Lydney Forward interactive website, enabling the whole community to understand the initiative and lodge their ideas and suggestions
  • Direct dialogue with town centre traders and residents through socially distanced workshops and interviews
  • Two Lydney Forward outdoor events within the High Street and Bathurst Park
  • Direct engagement with business representatives and agencies exploring the most appropriate approach to expanding and supporting Lydney’s business community.

Despite the pandemic's restrictions, engagement secured more than 200 suggestions and comments, including in-depth responses from direct dialogue and workshops.

The Place Studio team's report recommended four key actions spanning quick win projects, headline long term initiatives, advancing plans for a business hub, as well as updating Lydney’s own Neighbourhood Plan policy framework. All are agreed to be advanced by the Town Council in the coming years.