Local businesses come together around plans for central Winchester

Businesses from across Winchester came together virtually last week to discuss the proposals for the Central Winchester Regeneration area. Winchester City Council has revealed plans to transform the area currently occupied by the bus station, Kings Walk, Friarsgate Medical Centre and Coitbury House into a vibrant mixed use development with attractive public spaces, a mix of housing and creative areas and flexible workspaces.

Discussions at the consultation session focused on timescales for delivery as well what would happen to existing businesses. It highlighted the importance of the regeneration of the area bringing something different to complement what we already have in the city. The group also shared their excitement about the creative, mixed use nature of the plans and their support for the council’s aspiration to attract younger people by offering affordable flexible workspace for start-ups and independents in particular.
The session was held as part of the ongoing public consultation on the proposals for the Central Winchester Regeneration area. A virtual exhibition is currently live online and consultation sessions open to all are taking place over the next few weeks. There is also a feedback questionnaire for all local people to share their views. All this information is available at www.winchester.gov.uk/cwr

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management who attended the session, said:

It was so inspiring to hear from businesses based in the city about what it would mean to them for this area to be re-energised. At such a difficult time for businesses, especially those in retail and hospitality who still took the time to attend this session, it is essential we can look forward to a brighter future.

“Our proposals to revitalise the Central Winchester Regeneration area will play a critical role in the road to recovery. We are delighted by the level of support for the plans shown by the business owners that attended this meeting and look forward to working with them more closely as our plans for the area progress.”

Paul Spencer, Executive Director of Winchester BID, who also attended the session said:

“There was lots of positively from local businesses attending the consultation session and there is a real desire to see Central Winchester Regeneration move forward.

“As a city we must take the next step together towards realising the potential for this site as a vibrant mixed-use destination which will greatly benefit local people.

“I strongly encourage business owners and people who live, work or study in Winchester to take the time to engage with this consultation process, give your feedback and let’s make this happen!”