Cirencester’s market place lies at the heart of the medieval town centre and is characterised and enhanced by the many listed buildings that frame it.
Whilst it is regarded as one of the finest townscapes in the region, the site was congested by circulating vehicle traffic and car parking, with paving and road surfaces of low quality and in poor condition. Portus + Whitton were the lead consultant heading the design team for the complete redevelopment of Cirencester’s historic market place, to form a high quality public realm for both visitors and the local townspeople. This was a highly sensitive scheme that involved P+W for nearly 20 years from initial inception through to completion.
The scheme aimed at reducing regional traffic flow coming into the town centre whilst retaining local accessibility and enhancing pedestrian permeability. It was successful in reclaiming the heart of Cirencester and creating a new, high quality public realm space to accommodate the markets and facilitate other public events. The proposals were carefully designed to weave the new space into the existing fabric of the town which is now a more vibrant and attractive space.
The approach to this long term project involved managing a complex multitude of stakeholders sensitive to change, including the statutory consultees stakeholders and groups such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). In addition to Portus + Whitton, the team included Traffic Consultants, Archaeologists, Engineers and Project Managers.
Portus + Whitton developed the design, organised successful public consultation events, obtained the required planning consents and worked in close partnership with the project civil and traffic engineers to prepare construction details. Their involvement continued during the procurement and site supervision stages through to final implementation.
The project was awarded the Civic Voice National Design Award 2018.
“Once a congestion ridden centre, with traffic slowly killing off the local market, Cirencester now has a modern market place at the heart of its Conservation Area. … The town centre has been much enhanced, the new public realm is well used, and the historic core of the town is now a vibrant and exciting space.” (Civic Voice)