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Latest News

Transforming Torbay’s Town Centres

20th December 2017

Categories: Latest News

Transforming Torbay’s Town Centres

It’s the season for sharing.  I want to share with you the progress being made to deliver projects in Torbay’s town centres. 

The first phase of work to transform Torbay’s town centres is focused on improving investor and developer confidence in the Bay.  The Council, TDA and their partners are all doing a huge amount of work to raise the profile of Torbay as a place that wants to grow, see change for the better and a place to invest. 

The Council is moving forward with an agreement for delivery of student accommodation, for a local education provider and 300 students, at Upton Place – part of the Town Hall Car Park.  It’s expected that a contract will be in place in the New Year, allowing the Council to commission design work leading to a planning application. The £14.2m investment in student accommodation, in this location, will result in more footfall and spend in Torquay Town Centre and would be a huge boost to the area.

The Council has supported a proposal for a new £10m hotel at Harbour View, part of the Terrace Car Park.   The contract between the Council and operator should be completed in the next few weeks, after which design work will be commissioned leading to a planning application in 2018.  A good quality hotel, in this location, will do much to boost the visitor economy, the Torquay Harbour area and Fleet Street.

The Council has given the go-ahead for competition to find a development partner for South Quay, Paignton Harbour.  A development partner will work closely with the Council and existing harbour users to find a suitable, viable mixed use redevelopment of South Quay.  The development partner will use their expertise and funding to bring forward a development that ensures the harbour becomes more of a destination, whilst also respecting its character.

The Council is putting up to £3m in public space improvements in two key locations in Torbay.  The area between Victoria Street, Torbay Road and Paignton Train Station will get a substantial makeover.  This will ensure Torbay Road and Victoria Street are better connected for pedestrians, encouraging visitors and shoppers to spend more time and money in the town centre.  This will go hand in hand with improvements to Paignton Station. 

Similarly, there will be major investment in better public realm around The Strand and Cary Parade to create a fantastic space to enhance Torquay Harbour and people’s experience of the town centre.  Early engagement with bus and taxi companies and with retailers has provided very positive feedback. A design team will be appointed in the New Year, to work up detailed designs with local artists, as part of the Great Places project.

Part of the £25m Town Centre Regeneration Fund, which the Council set up in October, will be used to refurbish Lower Union Lane Multi Storey Car Park in Torquay.  The car park serves the top end of Torquay and has the potential to better meet business needs. A £3.5m make-over will ensure it is safer, better used and provides a better first experience for visitors.

Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), an internationally renowned property consultancy, has been appointed to secure interest from operators and investors in redevelopment of the Victoria Centre and Paignton Station Square (the area around the Library, train and bus stations) and Brixham Town Centre Car Park.  JLL will also be assessing demand from operators and investors in longer term town centre transformation projects, for example the Pimlico area, Torquay.

Exciting times for town centres regeneration in Torbay.  Spread the word.

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