A PROPOSAL to fund design work for a theoretical revamp of Ringwood’s historic Market Place has been lobbied.

Research carried out as part of the Ringwood Neighbourhood Plan (RNP) project has shown residents and businesses would like to see the town’s Market Place used for more events and entertainment.

Following this, proposals have been put forward which would see the area become more pedestrian and cycle friendly and to allow for restaurants and bars to ‘spill out’ into the space.

Planners are now looking for help in funding a design study to progress the concept of a “thriving Market Place”, requiring funds of up to £20,000.

Bournemouth Echo: The Market Place, RingwoodThe Market Place, Ringwood

The concept has been discussed at all levels of local council and has received verbal support, as well as being added to the Ringwood Town Council projects list.

All agreed that “shared space” in the Market Place, if well-designed and implemented, would create opportunities to increase footfall and business in the town centre, and establish the Market Place as a destination for visitors.

The proposals said: “By restoring the Market Place as the true heart of the town, it would also create opportunities to direct visitors to other parts of the town and the green spaces that Ringwood enjoys.

“This is an opportunity to demonstrate a clear vision for our historic Market Place to the people of Ringwood, not just in words, but also as a visualisation of how the future could be.

Bournemouth Echo: Market Place, Ringwood, circa 1970Market Place, Ringwood, circa 1970

“The team has spoken to a representative from PJA Consultancy who specialise in movement planning and street and urban design and have a track record of delivering designs that have been implemented across the country.

“This study will be delivered in two parts. Firstly, a study that defines the principles and aims and secondly, the development of design options. The design options will take into account active travel and movement of not only traffic, but also pedestrians and cyclists.”

The space has hosted the weekly town market for more than 900 years, which was started in 1226 when King Henry III granted the Lord of the Manor the right to hold a market in Ringwood on Wednesdays.