We are currently working with BCP Council on a masterplan for Boscombe town centre. The Boscombe masterplan is being funded by the Government’s Towns Fund Initiative and will inform the production of a Town Investment Plan. Arts, culture and the creative industries will be at the heart of this place-making strategy, and we want to actively engage the local community. To kick start the project we would usually hold a community engagement session within the town centre but due to the current Covid-19 crisis and social distancing measures we held our first online consultation session (via Zoom) with 89 of Boscombe’s creatives, with the aim to gather ideas to inform a wider public consultation process and a bid for government funding in October.
The session started with an introduction from BCP Council, followed by Wayne presenting examples of how other towns have used culture to deliver locally distinctive regeneration to set the scene for a group discussion on the future of Boscombe’s town centre. Participants were then asked to use the ‘Raise Hand’ button if they had any ideas they wanted to share and discuss with the panel. Throughout the 90 minute session lots of positive and creative ideas were shared and discussed over video call with the panellists and through the chat function. Since the session we have had an influx of positive feedback and further ideas which will now inform a survey that will be sent out to Boscombe’s creatives in the following week.