Newcastle-under-Lyme: Grosvenor Gardens Sunken Roundabout
The council made a decision to redevelop this sunken roundabout to provide an attractive green space in the town centre. The previous tiling and fixtures from the 1970s had deteriorated over a number of years. The roundabout and adjoining gardens had also become a hotspot for antisocial behaviour and crime, which residents and visitors avoided as they entered the town centre.
The project utilised advance Town Deal funding to improve safety and public realm in the area. The redevelopment was undertaken through a multi-agency partnership, working with Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire County Council, the council’s CCTV operator and local business to provide the art and tiles.
By working with partners throughout the process, the project was able to deliver each partner’s desired outcomes. To improve safety and assist the police to respond to incidents, live-monitored CCTV cameras were installed in all five subway barrels and at entrance/exit points. Lighting was improved at the main entrance from the adjacent car park, with outreach services deployed to support rough sleepers alongside security marshalls to tackle anti-social behaviour. A number of aesthetic improvements were made, with a comprehensive landscape scheme, parapets being repainted, and new benches added to allow residents to enjoy this new public space. Increased cleaning activity was also implemented to quickly remove drinking/drug material, making the area much more attractive.
As part of the project, the council commissioned a local ceramics business to provide bespoke artwork featuring Newcastle’s 30-year Britain in Bloom campaign and local heritage features. Local artists were also commissioned to provide custom murals for walls in the approach areas; this presents a positive, attractive image of the town centre. The project was completed in early 2022. It has resulted in a renovated public space, which is much more attractive to visitors to the town centre. This is benefitting local businesses through increased footfall and dwell time, with further public satisfaction and confidence. For the police and the local authorities, this has provided faster response times and reduced incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour.