Year | 2006
Location | Accrington, Lancashire, UK
Client | Hyndburn Borough Council
Accrington has a glorious past of industry, invention and football but now resides in a post-industrial hinterland. Recently, however, the pressure to develop the area has resulted in Accrington becoming the focus of regeneration initiatives. Hyndburn Borough Council was struggling to control the development of Accrington in the context of these regeneration programmes that are organised on a regional, or even national, level. It welcomed the sudden interest in Accrington but wanted to maintain the strong local characteristics of the town in the face of the pressures for change. A new brief for a masterplan for the town centre was about to be put out to tender and this live project was conceived as a chance to inform this brief with an imaginative, sustainable vision for the future of Accrington.
Through collaborative work with local community groups, market stall-holders and schools the students researched the characteristics of the town centre and its connections with the rest of the town and the surrounding areas of Hyndburn. At the end of the six-week project they produced a set of imaginative strategic proposals for regenerating the town centre focusing on celebrating the town’s existing features of historic buildings, hidden waterways and proximity to the Pennine hills.
The resulting document was adopted by Hyndburn Borough Council and included in the briefing material for the new masterplan. The successful practice, URBED, used the document as source material and inspiration for further collaborative work for local people and design development and so the outcomes from the Live Project directly affected the future of Accrington town centre.