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Cheltenham Town Centre Design Charrette

Illman Young, in partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council, organised a design Charrette to facilitate new thinking about Cheltenham’s Town Centre to drive forward a new vision, and strategy for its development. Attendees included urban and landscape officers from the council, representatives from the Cheltenham Town Centre BID and Walk 21 (charity dedicated to walking and accessibility issues) as well as county highways and the managing director of Cheltenham Borough Council.
A walk around the town was followed by lively debate and group thinking around issues such as accessibility, Green / Blue Infrastructure and to identify problems alongside potential interventions to create a successful Town Centre for Cheltenham, fit for both today and future communities. Opportunities for SuDS retrofitting were identified along with required changes to bus and carparking to allow the creation of successful Town Centre event spaces.
The Engagement of a wide range of professional interests, and their collaborative working was critical to its success, and the work has since led to the formulation of briefs for further detailed research in transport and heritage, and successful ESIF match funding for interventions such as raingardens, pocket parks and enhancing the existing green infrastructure in the town centre.
“It was an interesting and engaging day – long may Cheltenham benefit from our collective efforts!” – Bronwen Thornton, Walk21
“I would like to wholeheartedly thank your team for the fantastic hospitality and approach to the day.  You clearly put a lot of energy and thought into the organisation and this resulted in a very productive day. The results have already fuelled me to drive things forward, I briefed our Exec Board this morning and they are all on board with the key messages.” – Tim Atkins, Managing Director, Cheltenham Borough Council
“The charrette was a real success and has had a big impact on CBC thinking” – Wilf Tomaney, Townscape Manager, Cheltenham Borough Council
Under a separate private commission, Illman Young were appointed to design Trinity Place, located to the north east side of Cheltenham town centre, which provides a key link between the town centre and Pittville Park and forms a significant part of the proposed North Place development that was granted full planning permission in early 2013.
The space intends to create a new community within Cheltenham providing housing and a new retail scheme.
  • Illman Young engaged to develop comprehensive landscape design for the creation of a central public open space
  • Located within the ‘Cheltenham Town Conservation Area’ and adjacent to the Grade II* listed Trinity Church, the setting of which was to be enhanced in the design
  • Areas off the main boulevard provide opportunities for a range of public uses, with sculptural features functioning as play opportunities and informal seating
  • Planting used to create separation between the public spaces and the new residential frontages
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage strategy was developed with the design team, incorporating rainwater gardens and retention ponds within the public realm.
  • Illman Young managed workshops to develop a brief for commissioning public art for the space