Creating a vibrant and welcoming town centre is very important to its success, and it’s a key part of our commitment to our businesses. One of the ways we are supporting this aim is through our Social Spaces project.
The aim of this project is to create more welcoming, social and accessible street environments for businesses to benefit from, and for customers and visitors to Kingston to enjoy, by delivering 3 temporary schemes:
- Introducing planting and seating in Thames Street
- Introducing planting and seating in Lower Fife Road
- Introducing planting and seating in Station Plaza
Kingston First will project manage the temporary scheme, and we have commissioned Davies White, a local landscape architect, to develop detailed designs and project manage the installation of seating, greenery and reshaping of the spaces. As well as consulting with our members, we will be working closely with the Royal Borough of Kingston and stakeholders including Blue Light services, residents, cycle and access groups and green and biodiversity groups. We hope to complete the project in August, with a Community Planting Day also being organised to add the finishing touches to the spaces before they are unveiled.
After taking on board concerns during engagement with businesses and access groups, Thames Street will no longer be subject to road closure, with the loading bay still in operation from 5pm to 10am. Disabled parking will be retained to ensure access to the riverside, with access to blue badge holders only 10am – 5pm.
The build in all three sites will commence in early August, with greenery and planting from the 16 August. The spaces should be ready to use from the 21 August.