Kingston Council and Kingston First, the Business Improvement District (BID) has appointed Arup to lead on the development of a new vision for its town centre.

The study will look at the opportunities and challenges facing Kingston town centre and will drive its future employment, cultural, education, business, transport and regeneration offer, which will contribute to a successful, vibrant and inclusive centre, supporting the delivery of growth in the borough over the next 15 years.

This appointment comes as town centres across the country face increased pressure to adapt to changing consumer behaviours where demands for experience, culture and increased social spaces are a top priority. Additionally, there is a requirement for residential growth in Kingston as the population in London continues to rise.

In partnership with Kingston Council and Kingston First, Arup will review options for the town centre including how key sites such as the Cattle Market Car Park, Surrey House, Eden Quarter, Guildhall and Ashdown Road Car Park can meet these challenges and deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes that support the borough’s residents, businesses and visitors in years to come. We hope and expect that residents will be consulted on what they want a new vision to achieve.

Joanna Rowelle Director, Integrated City Planning at Arup said:

“This is a priority project for Kingston Council and our team brings a range of multidisciplinary expertise to help them further develop their vision for Kingston Town Centre, creating a set of proposals that will form the basis for its long-term economic success.The town centre has a long history and lots of positive assets. We will work with the council and community to build on these existing strengths, while also identifying opportunities to deliver a vision for a thriving town centre that puts local people’s needs at its heart.”

This from the Arup website – “Arup’s shared values, like our firm’s name, are derived from the beliefs and convictions of our founder, the engineer and philosopher Sir Ove Arup.Sir Ove believed work was only valuable when it had something higher to strive for. We continue to embody that idea – that our work is truly profitable when it shapes a better world. Today, across the world, our people use their skills and expertise to help us reach for greater goals.”

Nazeya Hussain, Executive Director of Place at Kingston Council:

“I am committed to involving residents, major landholders and businesses as we embark on a major exercise to develop a vision for Kingston town centre.

“As the boroughs largest town centre, it will need to play a critical role in both accommodating growth, and play a strategic role in providing an economic, social, and cultural offer for the entire borough.

“I am looking forward, along with our strategic partner Kingston First, to developing a vision that will set the groundwork and our aspirations over the next 15 years and ensure that the very best of Kingston is preserved and enhanced as well as make a positive contribution to the future of the town centre to accommodate a wider range of uses such as residential, culture, community services and workspaces.”

Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive at Kingston First:

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Kingston Council to appoint the forward thinking, industry leader Arup to develop a vision for the future of Kingston Town Centre. At a time where consumer behaviours are changing, this vision is more important than ever before, it will provide a framework for the evolution of the town centre, ensuring Kingston remains a great place to work, live and visit for years to come.”