Our vision is all about social, economic and environmental sustainability and reconnecting the centre with its community.

PW Design Challenge - Benoy entry

Opening up the centre and removing tired internal spaces to create a new hybrid environment are essential and will probably mean the reduction of traditional retail as we know it. This is vital if the centre is to capture the imagination of wider generations and deliver positive experiences; it’s about creating multiple reasons for people to visit.

We have opened the roof and externalised the space, creating a variety of experiences in the process. The newly opened-up space includes a reinvigorated town square as the heart of the whole site.

We have repurposed car parking as green spaces and parks. The impact of the car is minimised and pedestrians, public transport and cycling prioritised. Could the centre and the surrounding community be car free?

We have prioritised making this a place where people can just come and be

It is important to think beyond retail. Could this site become a space that serves and engages the community – perhaps via education, health services or more broadly wellbeing?

We have prioritised making this a place where people can just come and be – there are open play areas for children and calm spaces for older generations to come and relax while still feeling part of the community.

There are more dynamic and engaging experiences for people, including digital installations, food markets and temporary pop-up exhibitions.

We have also brought in start-ups and digital-to-physical brands as part of a drive to reinvigorate local and encourage the new.

Ultimately, all of this is about creating an identity. Centres like these are tired, lost and disconnected from the people they serve. They need to be reborn as green, flexible and engaging spaces that are open to the world.