Stevenage: Gateway project will enhance first impressions of town

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Artist's impression of new car park for StevenageImage source, Stevenage Borough Council
Image caption,
An artist's impression of a new car park for Stevenage

Plans to spend £15.5m improving visitors' first impressions of Stevenage have been outlined by the borough council.

The Station Gateway project is one of nine to be funded by the authority's successful bid for £37.5m from the government's Towns Fund.

Proposals include a £9m car park and the potential relocation of the Gordon Craig Theatre and leisure facilities.

The council said the car park would meet increased demand from commuters.

The Towns Fund, administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, is investing £3.6bn into towns and cities as part of the government's plan to "level up" towns and aid recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Station Gateway will receive £6.5m from the pot, which aims to improve the impressions visitors have of Stevenage from the railway station and new bus interchange, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The borough council will provide £5m - and £4m will be raised through other investment.

The creation of a new 622-space multi-storey car park in Lytton Way, has been allocated £9.7m.

A quarter of the spaces will be electrical vehicle charging bays, with infrastructure in place to double this in the future. A cycle hub will include room for around 80 bikes.

Image caption,
Stevenage was designated the first New Town in 1946

The Station Gateway will be developed in the first phase of the project.

Relocation options for the theatre will be looked at in the second phase of the regeneration scheme, the council said.

It will also explore the creation of a new quarter for residential, office and retail units in place of the Gordon Craig Theatre.

The council hopes final commitments for the project will be in place by February 2022, with work starting on the car park in April, once planning permission is granted.

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