Published on 1st June 2022
New accessible space to sit, relax and enjoy, with a boost to nature and removal of artificial grass.
Cheltenham has a brand new ‘pocket park’ at Clarence Fountain in the heart of Cheltenham town centre, with improved seating, space for wheelchairs to make the area more inclusive, as well as a more attractive, durable and hard wearing finish.
The enhancements have created a focal point for everyone using the area, with planting and re-using the existing trees. The space has been designed to increase biodiversity, improve air quality and visually improve the area. Planting has been carefully selected in line with the council’s #CheltenhamZero ambitions and Habitat Cheltenham aspirations, which aim to create a network of biodiversity improvements across the town centre.
Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, said: “It’s fantastic to see the completed project that will make a massive difference to our town centre.
“Replacing the temporary artificial grass with a new pocket park, accessible seating and new plants was a vital step as we focus on continued town centre regeneration. This is particularly important following the difficulties that the pandemic has brought. We hope local residents and visitors will enjoy the new area.”
These enhancements form part of a wider programme of activity by the council, alongside the work of the Cheltenham Economic Recovery Task Force, which focuses on supporting the town’s economic recovery.
This includes a range of measures for businesses, major new investments in the town including the arrival of big brands, Taco Bell, Decathlon, Mowgli, Brewdog and the Tivoli Cinema and some ‘firsts’ such as the hugely popular big screen and festive ice skating rink at Imperial Gardens. Add to this, Cheltenham’s ambitions to become the cyber capital of the UK as part of the Golden Valley development, and the arrival of the Minster Exchange creating a vibrant town centre quarter, the town’s economy will thrive, creating jobs and even more support towards the high street.
Watch the short video from earlier this year, where Cllr Max Wilkinson talks through the planned changes.
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The plans for Clarence Fountain were agreed by cabinet in December 2021.
Following Gloucestershire County Council’s decision to re-open the junction of Clarence Street and High Street (known locally as Boots Corner) to all traffic following the trial temporary closure, Cheltenham Borough Council has led and invested in the development of more attractive and sustainable permanent improvements to the plinth surrounding the fountain.