The current campaign to bring The Broadway into community ownership and reopen it as a cultural and community engagement hub began in 2016 with the Prestwick Charrette. Below is a summary from Willie Miller of Willie Miller Urban Design, who worked on the project.
At the very bottom of this page, you can find the full summary of the Charrette’s findings.
We participated in the Prestwick Town Centre Charrette in Spring 2016, working with local communities to create an Action Plan for the town.
Over four days the Talk Prestwick Charrette generated dozens of ideas for positive change in Prestwick town centre and the wider community. The event was in part a celebration of life in a friendly and thriving community, but also a reminder of the town’s potential to be even better.
From a long list of ideas – some well-developed, others early-stage concepts – we have set out a 10-year vision for Prestwick, based on six overlapping themes. These were:
• a town that offers an excellent quality of life for people of all ages and circumstances
• an enterprising town with a vibrant economy, creating opportunities and prosperity
• an attractive place with a busy, stylish Main Street and a fabulous seafront
• a place that celebrates its cultural and community life
• a place where healthy lifestyles and excellent support services promote physical and mental wellbeing
• a town where governance and capacity is well developed
The project ideas were the first draft of an action plan for the town centre, and we clustered these into eight programmes:
1. Main Street and The Cross: Projects to improve the built environment and the public realm, helping to make Prestwick a more attractive place for shopping, leisure visits and entertainment, and a better place to do business.
2. The seafront: Prestwick is a traditional seaside town but changing fashions, and long-term neglect of the physical infrastructure has left the esplanade looking tired and at risk of flooding and beach erosion.
3. Parking, access and movement: Proposals for reducing the speed of traffic, managing parking capacity more effectively, encouraging cycling and resetting the relationship between pedestrians and cars.
4. Arts and culture: Proposals for culture-led regeneration, creating new performance and production spaces, bringing the Broadway cinema back to life as a key venue in a flagship building. Developing a year-found festivals programme.
5. Health and social care: Design interventions to promote walking, cycling, sport and exercise, together with practical support for carers and action to make Prestwick a dementia-friendly town.
6. Enterprise and employment: Initiatives to capitalise on Prestwick’s status as Scotland’s aerospace capital and promote its golfing heritage, together with support for start-ups and community enterprise and a career management initiative to maximise local opportunities for young people.
7. Marketing and communications: Continuing efforts and investment in promoting the town by a blend of community resources, business action and public agencies to encourage dialogue, the exchange of ideas and information and the marketing of the town centre.
8. Heritage: Encouraging community-led micro-projects that focus on the history of the town.
The Broadway Project was widely considered to be the most important and popular project. The Broadway is a significant building in Main Street and has the potential to contribute to the town’s ambitions under several of the Charrette’s programmes, for example, Arts and Culture, Health and Social Care, Enterprise and Employment, Marketing and Comms and of course, Heritage.
The Charrette was an entirely positive experience for our team. Much progress is evident with many of the projects including the Broadway. Our team was impressed and delighted by the enthusiasm of those involved and their ability to see projects through to implementation.