11 January 2024
Fareham Borough Council has published its initial findings from feedback given by more than 1,000 residents, businesses and visitors throughout November and December 2023 on the future regeneration of Fareham Town Centre.
Analysis showed that a total of 285 hours had been spent providing feedback on wide-ranging themes such as the town centre’s usefulness as a place to shop or spend leisure time, the changing retail environment, how people travel in and around the town centre, being proud of the town centre, and the roles housing and design will play in any future regeneration of the town centre.
The feedback, together with wider technical work, has informed the first stage in the regeneration process, leading to five key strategic objectives that will be used to guide and influence future plans. These are:
- Address connectivity issues – in particular creating a safe and secure evening link between Fareham Live and West Street;
- Consolidate retail and introduce new vibrant uses (including housing);
- Make the most of Fareham’s inherent qualities;
- Make the Town Centre more attractive; and
- Create a unique selling point/points.
The Council has confirmed a combined £30M investment to underpin the future regeneration of the town centre with three important elements that will serve as real drivers for change: the new community, arts and entertainment centre Fareham Live which will open later this year, the new car park to replace Osborn Road multi storey, and ownership of Fareham Shopping Centre.
Acquiring Fareham Shopping Centre is the real game-changer moving forward as the Council can now look at the best way to provide a route from the Civic Quarter which includes Fareham Live, to West Street when Fareham Shopping Centre is closed. At the moment there is no easy route through in the evenings so creating a safe, well-lit route to the pubs and restaurants on West Street, and boosting the evening economy, is a top priority.
Cllr Seán Woodward, Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, said:
“This is a hugely important programme for Fareham and I am delighted that so many people took the time to think about what was important to them in a town centre so this can be fed ahead of any plans being formed. It is really exciting to see the project develop and, in particular, to know that much of it has been informed by the feedback we have had so far.”
Further engagement with key interest groups, residents, businesses, shoppers and visitors will be carried out over January and February to help shape the evolving ideas. The findings, including options for further consideration, will be presented to the Executive meeting in March 2024 before going on to develop a regeneration strategy and action plan for the town centre.