Work set to start on Ferndown town centre improvements

Work on improvements around Ferndown town centre is set to start soon with phase one aiming to breath new life into the Penny’s Walk and Victoria Road areas.

These changes are as a result of recommendations made to the town council and the former East Dorset District Council through a comprehensive appraisal of the town in 2017.

Phase one will include removing some of the old planters in Victoria Road and replacing with a new design and look at new seating near the library to make this space a more modern and community focused area.

There will be consultation on some concept designs to ensure the community is involved and can input into the final design.

Dorset Council says they hope that with additional funding the look and feel of this small area can be replicated down Victoria road and possibly Penny’s Walk in the future with the addition of an improved street lighting scheme. The new design aims to better connect people with nature in an urban setting.

Cllr Mike Parkes, Dorset Council’s ward member for Ferndown, said: “I am thrilled that some of this work is now starting to take shape. Since the Town Centre Strategy was drawn up in 2017, I’ve been keen to get elements of the recommendations underway.

“The new planters and seating on Victoria Road in will be a very welcome addition to the town centre which I hope will increase footfall and give residents and visitors to Ferndown and more pleasant and greener experience.”

In phase two a revised parking scheme for Victoria Road will make getting to the shops easier for those who need to travel to the town centre by car.

Phase three of the work will focus on spaces for new retailers, hospitality businesses and a refreshed public space for events, markets and town life in Penny’s Walk. Growing the nighttime economy and support for existing shops and businesses around Victoria Road will also fall in phase three of the work.

A £20k funding package to design the new seating and replacement planting in Victoria Road is part of the ‘Reconnecting with Nature Spaces’, coordinated by Litter Free Dorset.

Sophie Carpenter from Litter Free Dorset said: “We hope these improvements create a safe space where the community can gather, pollinators can thrive, as well as encourage a sense of pride in Ferndown”.

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