Boscombe Towns Fund Masterplan

NEW masterplanning, working with Hemingway Design and Urban Movement have prepared a Vision and Masterplan to transform the centre of Boscombe. We have worked with BCP Council and New River Retail (as owners and managers of the outdated Sovereign Centre) to create a town centre fit for the 21st Century and a post Covid social and economic environment.

The masterplan redevelops the monolithic and outdated Sovereign Shopping Centre and replaces it with a mixed-use series of streets and lanes capable of accommodating a variety of business, community, retail and leisure uses at ground level. It incorporates around 500 new homes, mixing family housing and apartments with balconies and roof terraces.

The masterplan improves passing trade and visibility for traders and improves natural surveillance to help address anti-social behaviour. It creates a new mixed-use urban street as a focus for new business space, health and community facilities and new apartments.

The masterplan will encourage walking and cycling into the centre from the core local catchment by reducing the scale and barrier of the surrounding highways. Around half the local households do not own a car and are reliant on public transport so the masterplan brings buses closer to the High Street, and positions bus stops in locations that are more suitable for the bus company.

Initial on-line engagement with the local community provided a steer on the overall direction of the masterplan which is currently subject of more extensive public consultation over the summer. It will then form the basis of a bid for £25m to the Towns Fund in later this year.

We have worked closely with New River Retail on the appropriate scale and mix of units within the masterplan to ensure viability and deliverability. The overall scale of retail space is reduced and there is a focus on smaller units for local businesses, however key units are retained for key anchor tenants.

There is a strong focus on developing independent businesses and the creative communities, stimulating the regeneration of key heritage assets such as Royal Arcade, and putting them at the heart of the Vision for Boscombe. A new public space is created to promote local events and the evening economy and vacant buildings are being used for arts and community organisations.

“NEW masterplanning responded to a challenging brief and a very short timescale, delivering an exciting, mixed-use, high density scheme with the potential to transform the centre of Boscombe, ready for public consultation within 10 weeks of being commissioned.”

Justin Thomas, New River Retail

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