A THREE-day technical workshop will aim to shape plans for the revitalisation of Westover Road to make it “a jewel in Bournemouth’s crown once again”.

FuturePlaces, BCP Council’s urban regeneration company, hosted a Westover Road workshop (charette) last week for local traders and stakeholders to discuss planning, urban design, heritage, tourism, culture, economic development, transport, and more to identify solutions to the challenges faced in the area.

The focus area for the Westover Road charette includes the blocks enclosed by Bournemouth Lower Gardens and Westover Road to the east, Bath Road to the south, Old Christchurch Road to the west and Hinton Road to the north.

Additionally, the charette took into context a wider area representing an approximate 10-minute walking radius around Westover Road.

Bournemouth Echo: Area of focus for three-day workshop on future of Westover Road in Bournemouth. Picture: BCP CouncilArea of focus for three-day workshop on future of Westover Road in Bournemouth. Picture: BCP Council

Council portfolio holder for development, growth and regeneration Councillor Philip Broadhead said: “Westover Road presents a tremendous opportunity for Bournemouth to reimagine our cultural and retail offer to residents and visitors.

“The aim of this intensive process is not to have another talking shop, it is to identify resilient solutions to revitalise this much-loved area and attract further investment to create new and varied social, cultural, leisure and retail activities.”

Paul Kinvig of Bournemouth BID added: “We support the initiative FuturePlaces has taken to host the Westover Road charette and canvass the views of our members who are eager to see the area revitalised – attracting increased footfall, better profits, and new, complementary businesses to fill vacant units.

“It is critical this scoping initiative moves quickly into action that is beneficial to businesses and visitors alike.”

Bournemouth Echo: Westover Road, Bournemouth in 1989Westover Road, Bournemouth in 1989

Earlier this year, businesses in Westover Road described the street as “the last road of retail” and called for the council to “invest correctly”.

Westover Road had been described years ago as Bournemouth’s ‘Bond Street’, however retail pressures in recent years have caused many units to close.

Bournemouth Area Hospitality Association vice chair Rosie Radwell added: “A thriving cultural and retail district is vital to the success of hotels and accommodation providers in attracting a diverse range of guests throughout the year seeking memorable experiences.

“We welcome the opportunity to share our members’ views to help improve Westover Road and make it a jewel in Bournemouth’s crown once again.”