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Two new public spaces created along a busy High Street

This is our award-winning public realm improvement project for Maidstone’s High Street. The scheme, completed in 2013, has seen the creation of two new and distinct public spaces, carved out from the former highways infrastructure. A central aim of the project was rebalance the street, to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment and reduce the impact of vehicles, whilst retaining a rationalised bus network. The project was won through an open design competition, with a team comprising Stockley civil engineers, Sutton Vane lighting consultants, and local artist Christopher Tipping.

Completed in the summer of 2012, Phase 1 saw the creation of Jubilee Square in front of the Town Hall: a new space that provides a focal point for the town that now regularly hosts markets and small-scale, live music events. It also serves as an attractive year-round space in which people can sit and relax, whilst providing a more formal setting for the listed Queen’s Monument.

The following year saw the completion of a second public space we were able to deliver for the town. Remembrance Square, in Lower High Street, provides a new and attractive space centred around the relocated listed Russian Cannon. Granite paving is used throughout the scheme, which incorporates a banding pattern that reflects the historic grain of the street, recalling the original burgage plots, and echoing the former lives and uses of this historic route into Maidstone.

The project successfully achieved a key aim to enhance and transform the fortunes of the street: since its completion, there has been an uplift in retail activity, with many more shops and businesses opening in previously vacant units. We have also worked with Maidstone Borough Council to develop designs to expand these improvements further across the town centre and into neighbouring Earl Street, Week Street and Gabriels Hill.

Maidstone High Street
Public realm improvement scheme
for Maidstone Borough Council
Maidstone, Kent
Total Cost £3.1M
Phased Completion 2012 / 2013