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Stevenage Borough Council Executive backs Stevenage Towns Fund projects

Stevenage Borough Council’s Executive backed business cases for the Sports and Leisure Hub and New Town’s Heritage Centre and Museum – part of Stevenage’s town investment plan at its meeting yesterday (2 February 2022).  The two projects sit at the heart of the town centre and are about delivering high quality, rejuvenated facilities for local residents to enjoy.

The New Town’s Heritage Centre and Museum comprises of two spaces, with a modern cultural arts, heritage and education centre and adjacent flexible space for events, performances, education and leisure activities. Plans also include the relocation of the current museum, which depicts the history of Stevenage and our role in leading the New Towns movement, and its content will build on the existing collection to share the story of Stevenage and the history of its people in a new and dynamic way.

Designed to enrich cultural experience within the town, this vibrant and accessible new facility will provide the opportunity to present and interact with heritage in a modern innovative way. A key focus will be linking the old and new aspects of Stevenage, exploring and curating culture and art of the period when Stevenage was first conceived and developed, showcasing the New Town and Modernist movements and linking this to current ideas and developments emanating from within the town, such as inventions of global significance like the Mars Rover.

The Stevenage Sport & Leisure Hub will deliver high-quality multi-purpose sports and leisure facilities within the town centre and will play a key role in unlocking a wide range of health, leisure and regeneration benefits. It is pivotal to the transformation of the town centre, building on the work of the Grimsey Review to diversify town centres and utilise leisure and culture as important attractions to modern town centres.

This state-of-the-art Sport & Leisure Hub seeks to include swimming, studios, gym space, and flexible sports facilities adjacent to the main Town Centre Gardens on the current Swimming Centre. This central location will provide a combined sport and leisure provision in the town centre for residents, encouraging greater levels of participation in sport whilst improving access to green spaces and connectivity to and from the site. As existing buildings become consolidated, further opportunities for regeneration will be unlocked leading to the potential for greater transformation.

Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “These projects are fundamental to our vision for the regeneration of Stevenage town centre and bringing benefits for our residents. There’s so much to be proud about and our legacy and pioneering spirit will be recognised within the spaces, which we will be enriching with cultural experiences.”

“The provision of new sports facilities will widen our offer and help to improve health and wellbeing. These plans will additionally help our businesses, with greater footfall within the town centre to support our local economy.”

“Stevenage is going through exciting transformation, and our residents sit at the heart of this. We are leading a period of change that will celebrate our legacy whilst creating a modern, diversified town centre offering something for everyone.”

Adrian Hawkins OBE, the independent Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, said: “The Government Towns Fund required the board to consider projects focused on enriching the lifestyle and enjoyment of local people and benefit also visitors to the Town. These proposals will enhance both the knowledge and culture and the sports and leisure offer available in Stevenage. The Stevenage Development Board provided considerable support for these projects and have prioritised these investments to ensure that these important facilities and innovative spaces are delivered at an early stage, to maximise the opportunities for local people.”

These projects from part of the transformation of the Town Centre through the towns fund and will be delivered with the Stevenage Development Board and Stevenage Borough Council, as part of the Stevenage Even Better £1bn regeneration programme. Planning permission has been granted for a number of developments in the town to deliver new homes, jobs and transformation of our public spaces to create a vibrant destination.

See more information on the wider £1bn Stevenage town regeneration plans and find us on Twitter and Instagram.