Bicester town centre regeneration project takes its next step

Plans to revitalise Bicester Market Square to support the town’s transformation are taking a step forward.

Published: Tuesday, 29th August 2023

Next week (Monday, 4 September), Cherwell District Council’s executive will consider appointing professional town centre regeneration consultants to start necessary studies, work up the plans and designs and engage with local businesses and residents to agree on the best approach for making this major project a success. This will build on the initial concepts produced for this exciting project.

Part of the work will investigate the best way forward for future parking and traffic flows to make the area more pedestrian-friendly and ensure the scheme can genuinely rejuvenate the town centre.

The intention is to create a high-quality public space with numerous uses and attractions that encourage residents and visitors to enjoy Bicester town centre and support businesses and the local economy.

Councillor Donna Ford, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: "We are starting our journey to develop an inviting Market Square that benefits the local community and adds vitality to local businesses.

“We aim to create a public space that becomes a focal point for Bicester town centre, which is visually appealing and packed with cultural experiences and events that act as a magnet for more residents and visitors. These are exciting times for Bicester and Cherwell as we look to invest significantly in a project that will make a real difference to the town's look, feel and success."

The scheme benefits from £4.25m of funding from the council’s capital budget. The original source of the funding was a government grant for infrastructure in Bicester.

The ambitious project and its aspirational vision align closely with the Reimaging Bicester’s Town Centre Outline Plan. A town centre group of council members and staff, local businesses and organisations pulled this plan together to support and develop a thriving Bicester in the future.

Working up the appropriate design and plans will take several months to complete once a leading consultancy is appointed later this year.

As well as the planned engagement with stakeholders, a formal consultation will occur before the design is finalised in 2024.

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