The positive role planners have played in the regeneration of Leicester's waterside and city centre was the focus of Stephen Wilkinson, RTPI President's visit to members in the East Midlands last week.
He visited Friars Mill (pictured right), the restored 18th century mill complex now home to local businesses and other improvement works along the River Soar – including at Ellis Meadows.
Friars Mill, a previously disused 18th century mill complex on the banks of the River Soar, has undergone a £7.1 million redevelopment – led by Leicester City Council - transforming it into modern workspaces.
He was also shown around the city centre - including upgrades to the public realm and the creation of new public spaces – and the Richard III Centre (pictured below).
Stephen Wilkinson MRTPI, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute said:
“Planners are at the heart of an extensive regeneration programme being undertaken by the City Council. Whilst I saw many good examples, the creation of a ‘starter hub’ from the eighteenth century Friars Mill was particularly interesting. This scheme required a CPO and land assembly in the area to regenerate the derelict mill which will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the city’s waterside.
“It’s great to see the council proactively bringing major regeneration projects forward to create jobs, growth and create great places.
“I look forward to returning in the future to see how the council’s exciting vision for this area unfolds.’
During the first day of his visit to Leicester, Stephen also visited the National Space Centre, the innovative SUDS system at ASDA, Leicester DOCK - the business incubator and met with Sir Peter Soulsby, the City Mayor.
On the second day, Stephen hosted a debate at City Hall – “Fixing the Broken Housing Market”. The panel agreed on the importance of design quality, place and affordability - as well as numbers of homes - when creating safe, healthy, sustainable communities. Planners were encouraged to play their part and be bold in delivering the right homes in the right places at the right price.
More information: RTPI East Midlands