Wyre Forest District Council and Worcestershire County Council have picked up a prestigious urban design award for the recently opened Exchange Place in Kidderminster town centre.
The Urban Transport Design Award was presented to public realm experts IBI Taylor Young who designed Exchange Place and were Highly Commended for the innovative shared traffic and pedestrian space in the heart of the town centre outside the historic Town Hall.
Councillor Ian Hardiman, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration said: “It is very uplifting for us to be recognised for creating a distinctive and memorable public space. The design of Exchange Place aimed to simplify the various arrangements for the bus interchange, taxi rank and disabled parking giving greater priority to pedestrian flows and the creation of an attractive new open public space.
“The design concept of the lighting, benches and paving with Penny Black Stamp has been widely supported by residents and visitors alike. Winning a coveted national design award is very pleasing and hopefully will increase local pride in the town even further.”
The national Urban Transport Design Award recognises highways, traffic and transport schemes that do much more than facilitate movement. Awards go to schemes that contribute to the improvement of the built urban environment and benefit a range of users as well as looking good. Previous winners of this award scheme include Norwich and the City of London, Coventry City Council, Cheshire East Council.
Exchange Place is part of the Council’s £2m investment in an improved town centre environment which has attracted significant new private sector development. Within the last few weeks a range of new eateries have opened their doors along the newly created Riverside Walk adjacent to Weavers Wharf and are enjoying a busy summer season during the day and evenings.
Cllr Ian Hardiman concluded: “These attractive new ventures, opening alongside the established establishments, mean that Kidderminster is now an emerging eating destination of choice for locals and visitors which was a key part of the council’s wider aspiration for the town. Along with winning a design award, we feel that residents are now seeing the town they deserve.”