New future vision for Kingston Town Centre to be developed

Kingston Council and Kingston First have appointed design consultancy Arup, to develop a new vision for the town centre for the next 15 years.

The six month study will look at the opportunities and challenges facing the town centre and will develop a plan to drive its future employment, cultural, education, business, transport and regeneration offer.

Working with Arup, the council in partnership with Kingston First will review options for the town centre including how key sites such as the Cattle Market Car Park, Surrey House, Eden Quarter, Guildhall and Ashdown Road Car Park can contribute to meeting these challenges.

The future approach and direction will be developed with residents and other key town centre users including Transport for London, land owners and local businesses. The findings of the study will then form a strategy, taking into consideration national trends in retailing, technological advances, and population growth to deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes that support the borough’s residents, businesses and visitors in years to come.

Last year, Kingston Council, Kingston First, Kingston University and the Greater London Authority partnered to produce the Reimagining Kingston Town Centre’s Streets and Spaces Strategy which provided an important starting point for this work. Previous consultations including the Local Plan early engagement and recommendations from the recent Citizens’ Assembly on air quality and other retail and transport studies will all inform the future approach.

Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council said:

“Town centres across the country are needing to adapt to a change in the retail landscape with the growth in online shopping. In addition, there is a need for more homes as the population in London continues to rise - Kingston is no different. As the borough’s largest town centre, it will need to play an important role in providing an economic, social, and cultural offer for the entire borough in the future.

“We are committed to involving residents, local businesses, land owners and other partners to help us create a vibrant and inclusive town centre which supports the growth in Kingston.

“I am looking forward to working with Kingston First and Arup to develop a vision that fits with our aspirations and ensure that we preserve the very best of Kingston as well accommodate for a wider range of users in the town centre.”

Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive at Kingston First said:

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Kingston Council to appoint the forward thinking, industry leader Arup to develop a vision for Kingston for the next 15 years. At a time where consumer behaviours are changing, this vision is more important than ever before, it will provide a framework for the evolution of the town centre, ensuring Kingston remains a great place to work, live and visit for years to come.”

Joanna Rowelle, Integrated City Planning Director at Arup said:

“This is a priority project for Kingston Council and our team brings a range of multidisciplinary expertise to help them further develop their vision for Kingston Town Centre, creating a set of proposals that will form the basis for its long-term economic success. 

“The town centre has a long history and lots of positive assets. We will work with the council and community to build on these existing strengths, while also identifying opportunities to deliver a vision for a thriving town centre that puts local people’s needs at its heart.”