Romsey Market Place has been crowned Solent’s best new public space by both judges and Hampshire residents, as the scheme wins both categories of the prestigious Solent Quality Place Awards 2022.
The market place in Romsey took more than a third of the public votes in the ‘People’s Choice Award’ category, which saw them compete against six other selected developments in this this year’s architecture and public space design awards run by Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH).
Earlier this year, architects, local authorities and businesses entered around 20 schemes into the sixth edition of the Solent Quality Place Awards, which seeks to highlight placemaking excellence, recognising developments that contribute to improving the economic, social, cultural and environmental life of those who live, work, learn and relax within the Solent region.
This week, Cllr Seán Woodward, Chairman of PfSH presented the design team from Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council, plus regional contractors Knights Brown with the awards.
“Initiatives such as the Solent Quality Place Awards are so important in promoting the importance of placemaking. This new public square in the heart of Romsey was developed to make it a safer, more attractive and inviting place for local residents, businesses and visitors to the town.”
Congratulations to the winning scheme and thank you to the thousands of Hampshire residents who voted and contributed to the development’s success. Romsey Market Place has been a real example of how the design of a public space can increase the vibrancy of the centre as a focal point in the community.”
It’s the first time in more than ten years of running the awards that a scheme has taken both the ‘People’s Choice Award’ and the ‘Quality Place Judges Award’, which is the judges’ overall winner of the most outstanding scheme of all the 2022 entries.
Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Transport and Environment Strategy, said: “It is a great honour that our improvements to Romsey town centre were voted best new public space for the Solent Quality Place Awards by not only by the judges but by Hampshire residents. With town centres across the country facing challenges, we have invested in Romsey for the future, delivering improvements aimed at encouraging more people to visit more often and stay longer.”
“I am delighted that the judges highlighted the high-quality materials used – selected particularly to be in keeping with the surrounding historic buildings. This, together with new seating, waste bins, cycle parking and planting all contribute to improve residents’ experience of this important space. This scheme also supports the economic viability of Romsey’s historic town centre. Market Place was part of an overall enhancement project for Romsey Town Centre, representing a total of over £3 million.”
Deputy Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Nick Adams-King said: “I’m delighted Romsey’s Market Place has won this award. Everyone who lives here knows what a fantastic town Romsey is, but the enormous number of votes for the scheme shows that it’s immensely popular with not only locals but visitors too. Thanks to everyone who brought this scheme forward which has enhanced our town centre immeasurably.”
The six other schemes from across the Solent region selected by judges back in September have all been acknowledged with a Solent Quality Place Award 2022.
These are residential developments, Buckland Granaries in New Forest and North Stoneham Park, Eastleigh, university buildings, The West Downs Centre in Winchester and The Centenary Building in Southampton, plus ancient monument, God’s House Tower in Southampton and the Maggie’s Centre building in Southampton.
To find out more visit https://solentqualityplaceawards.org.uk/ .
Notes to editors
Picture caption: Left to right – In front of the statue of Lord Palmerston in Romsey Market Place is: Councillor Mark Cooper representing Romsey Town Council, Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Transport and Environment Strategy, Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire, Councillor Nick Adams-King, Deputy Leader of Test Valley Borough Council and Councillor Neil Gwynne, Mayor of Romsey.
For more information contact Communications Consultant Isabel Johnston on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07818345936
Alternatively, contact Charles Freeman from Partnership for South Hampshire on email@example.com or 07970 822380
About Market Place, Romsey
Working in collaboration, Hampshire County Council, Test Valley Borough Council and Romsey Town Council, have created a new public square in the heart of Romsey, with level surfaces, widened footways and improved surface water drainage. The high-quality materials, improve the setting of the historic buildings and new seating, bins, cycle parking, and planting improve residents’ experience of the space. Since the improvements have been carried out, new cafés and a public house have opened in Market Place, increasing the vibrancy of the centre as a focal point in the Romsey Community, where regular Markets and events are also held. The judges agreed that the improvements create an accessible, attractive, cleaner, livelier, and safer town centre with an improved street scene to widen the town’s appeal and increase its economic viability and vitality.
For more information visit the scheme web page: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/transportschemes/marketplaceromsey
About the Solent Quality Place Awards
The first Solent Quality Place Awards, formerly known as Solent Design Awards, were held in 2010, coinciding with the signing of the Quality Places Charter. In 2019 the Solent Design Awards were refreshed and rebranded as Solent Quality Place Awards to better reflect the focus on quality of place rather than the design of an individual building. Winners in 2019 included the West Quay South complex in Southampton and the Hot Walls area in Portsmouth, with Romsey Market Place taking both categories in the sixth edition of the awards.
About Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH)
The Partnership for South Hampshire (PFSH) was formed in 2003 as Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) and renamed in 2019 to better reflect the diverse nature of its members. It’s a partnership of twelve local authorities around the Solent that aim to improve the environmental, cultural and economic performance of the South Hampshire area. Its focus is on partnership working beyond local authority boundaries to deliver housing, infrastructure, facilities and services that encourage growth and regeneration across the region.