Improvements to Beeston: Broxtowe’s Plans.

This is my 300th post on Beestonia,so was going to be something sentimental, indulgent and whimsically nostalgic. Yet I’m too busy for that, so I’ll save it for my 500th post, sometime around November.

I mentioned before that I the first meeting of Continuum Beeston was attended by Broxtowe Borough Council’s Head of the Built Envionment, John Delaney. He presented the steering group with a draft list of the Council’s planned improvements to Beeston centre in anticipation of it’s relaunch, costed and assessed. I was keen to get this out to a wider audience as it is still in the draft stage, the list ‘operational’, ie: open for public asessment and input. He’s now sent this over and I’ve decided to print it in full. Note the two costings, ‘economy’ and ‘maximum’: quite a gulf; so even individual ideas presented here have a wide possibility of the extent in which they are carried out. Some ideas are pretty routine, others a little more imaginative.

In return, I have sent John and his team the document I compiled through my own consultation, through comments here, notes from the New Deal Meeting and other places.

(Oh, it might not be the easiest thing to see, so probably best to download. I’ve just spent the best part of an hour swearing at MS Excel and it’s utter rubbishness)

Suggestions, as ever, very welcome:


12 thoughts on “Improvements to Beeston: Broxtowe’s Plans.

  1. Good work, Matt. As ever.

    • I think benches/bins and other street furniture in *conservation* areas should remain ‘old fashioned’. The aluminum new style versions are dull, municipal, out of scale, uncomfortable and not in-keeping with the ethos of conservation… they’ve also lost an identity in that all the ‘bees’ association with Beeston is gone, (the motifs, the black and gold) which I really liked!

    • The Christmas decorations this years were very good?! Why spend thousands on more, when up-lighting buildings and trees of interest is also listed as another possibility – and could add to the festive feel of Beeston at Christmas without further cost?

    • I like the sound of point 16 and 17 – the living wall and the up-lit trees. Brilliant ideas! They would bring drama and interest day and night, as well as having potential to involve the community – it could be a Community Garden ([cough] which WOULD BE REALLY GREAT – hint hint ) Living Wall…

    • I hope Stumpy would be relocated?! It’d look great near the Church?

    • Re: “Welcome” signage, trail and large screen – we’re a *town*, not a City, for Pete’s sake. All completely unnecessary and a waste of money… imho.

    • Jeanie says:

      Couldn’t agree more – what is this wifi rubbish and why is everything minumum estimation 5 or 10k – moving the waterhead to the church would cost nothing like 10K! I Do wonder where these over inflated numbers come from – if private developers used these suppliers/labourers they would go out of business in minutes..

  2. Tom Abdy says:

    Do you know anything about the future of the Fire Station? I’ve heard various things about it – mainly that it won’t be demolished. Do you know any different?

    • beestonia says:

      Fire station will be down later this month. Has been massively delayed first due to asbestos removal, then the rebuilding of a sub station that was on the premises. The first rebuild didn’t get signed of by the electrical company responsible, so it had to be redone…now it seems to be done so the building can come down. It’s basically a shell anyway, so demolition will be very fast. Be interesting to see the new vista across town when it opens: effectively a huge open space between the bus station and the White Lion.

  3. Karen says:

    I agree with much of what Tamar writes. If I had 20K+ to spend on beeston I definitely wouldn’t spend it on a litterbin redesign! Several of the suggestions appear costly but would have little impact eg improving the Xmas decorations (they are fine as they are). Please tell the Council do not go ahead with these plans without consultation or there will be no money left for the much better ideas which were put forward at the public meeting hosted by Matt/Nick Palmer.

  4. Tom says:

    Thanks very much! So do you know of any plans re: the space? I think it would be great as a green space – I can just picture a park with some footpaths and benches and maybe a performance space – similar to Broadgate – one at either end of Beeston would be great…

    • beestonia says:

      I too would like that, and am trying to see how it could be used for open civic space. Might not be quite so simple: NET take control for a while to get the tram in place without constraint. The council then take control, as part of ‘stage 2’ of the Square development, and that’s where it could get interesting.

  5. Mike says:

    a) What happened to that Mary Portas “save your high street” initiative?
    b) May I suggest that your Continuum Beeston meetings are properly minuted? To keep the Continuum alive, as much as anything.
    c) No doubt I misunderstand, but I was struck by the superficiality of the Council’s suggestions. I was expecting more about redeveloping the Beeston Business Park, less about stainless steel finishings.

    • Mike says:

      Mary Portas Initiative: £10k to BID, £50k to 10 shops, 3 in Beeston (HighClere Interiors, Other Space, Young Potential). (Young Potential subsequently lost to Ladbrokes.)
      Perhaps grants are the most constructive form of interjection, but I was expecting something more profound.

    • Mike says:

      From a recent Radio 4 You & Yours programme:
      while the Portas Initiative has seen the Government award grants, via Councils, to Town Teams of locals, there is no on-going programme of advice from either Portas or the Government. The money was to be spent on something game-changing and to avoid business as usual by the usual suspects.

  6. GC says:

    I appreciate there are good intentions that go behind this list but…..

    Items 1,2 and 5 – Harmonise everything in stainless steel. This is a terrible idea. Stainless steel is the choice of the moment, will look passe within 3 years, and hopelessly out of style for twenty more afterwards. I don’t much care for mock Victorian either, but what matters more is character, built up of gradual changes that incorporate styles of the time slowly. Homogenising everything is what they do in supermarkets, and it looks exactly what it is – soulless.

    Items 23 and 19 – Respect your public art! Yes, restore the Bee Man, and keep him restored, that’s a no-brainer. He embodies what Beeston is. He’s a worker, someone down-to-earth, relaxed in their own skin, friendly and approachable. But I really dislike the dismissive way the list seems to have written off the former-fountain in the square. I know not everyone likes it, but it has a name, it was made by a respected sculptor, and sympathetically placed (and get the water flowing again) it would be a real asset.

    Easy to be negative I know. The people in the council who come up with lists like this work with what they know, and what they think is realistic. But Beeston needs artistic direction more than it needs the parking signs re-organising.

  7. beestoncs says:

    Hi everyone. You can vote on Broxtowe’s Town Centre improvement plans on our website now!

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