26th October, 2006
news release

Urban Initiatives has been appointed by ESG Herefordshire ltd to prepare a masterplan for the Edgar Street Grid, a key area close to the historic city centre of Hereford. The plan will build on a previous masterplan commissioned in 2003 for Herefordshire Council and Advantage West Midlands.

The ESG Area covers 40Ha to the north of the city centre, between Blue School Street and the railway. Currently, the site contains the city football stadium, livestock market, a number of retail warehouse and distribution units and a large amount of surface car parking. The area also contains a number of older buildings but, overall, it has a fragmented appearance and a generally poor streetscape.

The aim of the masterplan is to expand the city centre northwards, integrate and connect the northern part of the city with the centre, extend the retail offer, create a new 850 home residential development known as Blackfriars Urban Village and improve access to the railway station. In addtiion, the masterplan will look at flood remediation and how the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal can be reinstated to provide a focal point for the community. The plan will also accommodate significant civic buildings and be adopted by Herefordshire Council as SPD.

Jonathan Bore, who is leading the Urban Initiatives team said, “This is a major opportunity for Hereford to strengthen its centre and raise its profile as a retail and visitor attraction. It will deliver a significant number of new homes in a highly sustainable location close to the city centre and will integrate the surviving historic fabric into a network of great streets.”

CZWG Architects is assisting on design for the new Blackfriars Urban Village, Crowd Dynamics joins the team looking at transport issues, and Gifford is providing engineering advice.

Urban Initiatives expects to complete its scheme in March 2007.