Regeneration plans for Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke get underway with the modernisation of St John’s Square by East Midlands architects Leonard Design.
The three-phase update of Festival Place, due to be completed by October 2017, will include the modernisation of the tenant shop facades in the square, the re-design of the grand entrance to Festival Place, and the hard-landscaping of all external areas.
The first phase is already underway in St John’s Square with the removal of existing kiosks to create a clear sightline across the square from The Malls to Festival Place, the modernisation of shop fronts to Poundland and Vision Express, and the hard-landscaping of the public realm including new up lighting and curved landscaping.
John Morgan, director at Leonard Design, said: “Working with AEW, we saw the huge potential in St John’s Square and we really wanted to create the feel of an open-air town square.
“AEW wanted to create modern, high-quality shop fronts and facades, set in a vibrant public space. By building new steel structures in front of the old facades, we have been able to increase the height of the shop fronts to modern standards. All of this has been achieved while the tenants have continued to trade. We see no reason why this now proven method cannot be used to improve struggling highstreets across the country.
“This type of regeneration is logistically tricky as the majority of the work is being carried out at night to avoid disruption to tenants during trading hours but phase one is on course to be completed before the end of the year.”
Festival Place was bought by AEW, one of the leading European real estate and asset investment managers, in December last year. This autumn AEW announced their ambitious plans to rejuvenate the centre and enhance its retailer line-up. Their vision is to create a fresh and inviting shopping and dining experience for the local Basingstoke and wider Hampshire audience.