Future High Streets Fund Salisbury
The Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) is a central government programme aimed at renewing and reshaping town centres and high streets in a way that drives growth, improves the experience for everyone visiting the town centre and ensures a sustainable future.
In 2021 Wiltshire Council was awarded £9,355,731 to develop a range of projects in Salisbury.
The funding has been split between three projects:
Salisbury Station Forecourt (£5.3 million) - redesigning the station forecourt making it more attractive and accessible for visitors and residents
Fisherton Gateway (£3.2 million)- improvements to the road network and public spaces along Fisherton Street
Heritage Living (£800,000) - redeveloping a vacant listed building and creating apartments in unoccupied spaces above shops
These projects aim to reinvigorate the city centre by ensuring a greater experience on the high street for residents and visitors to encourage them to keep coming back, supporting business growth and enhancing the city's reputation as a destination of choice for tourists.
Public engagement / consultation
In December 2021, we asked residents and businesses in the Fisherton Street area to complete a survey to help us understand how Fisherton Street is being used for access, deliveries, parking etc. The results of this survey help inform the emerging design going forward.
During the six-week period 7 March to 19 April 2022, local people from the wider area were again invited to give their views on concept designs for two of the three projects, namely Fisherton Gateway and Station Forecourt.
The consultation leaflet gives an overview of each project and what we are proposing to do. Local people were encouraged to view the leaflet before providing their feedback.
During the consultation period, two live online public webinars were held to explain the proposals in more details. Recordings of the webinars can be accessed below, along with copies of the Questions and Answers documents that were prepared in response to the questions raised during the webinars:
Two public exhibitions were also held at the Guildhall and three public pop-up events were held in various locations throughout the city, so officers could answer any questions people had. Flyers were handed out a one of the weekly markets to promote awareness of the consultation. In addition, unstaffed display stands were placed in the reception area of Bourne Hill Council Offices, Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing Centre and the libraries at Amesbury, Downton, Durrington, Salisbury and Amesbury which comprised a pull up banner and hard copies of the consultation leaflet and survey.
Finally, presentations were also given to Salisbury City Council, Salisbury Area Board and the Fisherton Street Traders.
Projects in Salisbury
The Future High Streets Funded projects seek to embrace Salisbury's classically original charm. From a sense of arrival at the proposed newly improved Station Forecourt to a sense of place at Fisherton Street with its diverse range of independent businesses and spirit, these projects are helping to shape the city for tomorrow.
Salisbury Station Forecourt
The proposed improvements aim to enhance the public realm and improve wayfinding to provide a welcoming arrival to visitors to encourage tourists and visitors to the city centre, to stay longer and spend more of their money in our local shops, cafes and restaurants.
The proposed works include enhancing the Station Forecourt area with improved landscaping, street furniture and wayfinding, along with more sustainable travel facilities such as bus stops and bicycle parking. In addition, a combination of wall mounted and pole mounted lighting is proposed to provide safe levels of lighting for the forecourt users.
The proposed improvements aim to enhance the public realm and improve pedestrian areas making it easier, safer and more convenient to travel by foot into the city centre.
The proposed works include new landscaping, lighting and wayfinding, widened footways, new street furniture and continuous footways at junctions providing a level crossing and giving pedestrians priority.
During the public consultation in 2022, views were sought on the following options to help shape the final design:
- Position of the pedestrian crossing at South Western Road
- Parking along South Western Road
- Position of bus stops on Fisherton Street
- Style of street furniture
The proposals include redeveloping a vacant listed building and creating apartments in unoccupied spaces above shops encouraging young people to live, work and socialise in the city.
This project is being developed in partnership with Salisbury City Council, and independently of the other two projects. The consultation does not deal with this project but updates will be provided as the scheme develops.
Frequently asked questions
How do these projects link in with the wider plans for Salisbury?
The projects funded through the Future High Streets Fund complement the wider plans for Salisbury and support the aspirations in the Salisbury Central Area Framework (CAF) which Wiltshire Council endorsed in August 2020. The CAF recommends initiatives and policies for the city centre to bring positive change to the city to make it an even more vibrant, attractive and sustainable place to live, work and visit.
The first phase of the Salisbury River Park scheme, another initiative outlined in the CAF, started on site in June 2022. This is a joint project being developed by the Environment Agency, Wiltshire Council and Salisbury City Council that will reduce flood risk within Salisbury whilst enhancing habitats and public enjoyment, improving fish passage, and encouraging growth and regeneration. It is anticipated that the scheme will be completed in Spring 2024.
When will these schemes be delivered?
Each project is at a different stage, but the more visible works will start in 2023. However, the bike hub and e-bike docks were being provided by South Western Railway (SWR) as a separate scheme and this work was completed in 2022 ahead of the main forecourt scheme.
The Future High Streets funding has to be spent by March 2024, although delivery can extend beyond, for example where there is co-funding.
What is happening about the loss of car parking spaces at the railway station?
The redevelopment proposals will result in the loss of car parking spaces. We are currently working with SWR to identify a suitable location for replacement parking.
Is a new northern entrance to the railway station part of the redevelopment proposals?
The northern entrance is not part of the current proposals as it did not form part of the bid and the grant must be spent in line with the approved business case. The potential for a new northern entrance is part of the wider masterplan for the railway station. The northern entrance is for SWR to deliver, but the council will continue to encourage and support SWR where possible to take this opportunity forward.
Will Fisherton Street remain one-way after the improvement works have been completed?
No, Fisherton Street will return to two-way traffic flow once the current improvement works have been completed.
Maintaining Fisherton Street as a two-way street was the preferred option as indicated by the public consultation phase. Fisherton Street serves as the main route into and out of the city centre from the west of Salisbury. It also serves as an important bus route. Making Fisherton Street one-way or a fully pedestrianised street would displace traffic onto other roads, reduce bus service frequency and diminish access to the city centre. The approach proposed by the council is aimed at improving the experience for pedestrians using Fisherton Street whilst avoiding the issues outlined.
Do the Fisherton Gateway proposals have any impact on blue badge spaces?
No, the blue badge spaces remain unchanged.
Are new shrubs and trees being planted as part of the proposals?
The Salisbury Central Area Framework aims to improve open space and the environment. The Station Forecourt and Fisherton Gateway projects include proposals for enhanced public realm which includes the planting of new shrubs and trees. This will complement the 600 new trees being planted as part of the Salisbury River Park project.
As the council was only awarded approximately 69% of the funding requested, what has been removed from the proposals?
The council bid for £13.5 million but was only awarded £9.4 million. This means that certain elements of the proposals have had to be removed such as murals and architectural lighting. However, we are actively seeking to bring these back into scope with alternative funding or as a future phase of the project.
When are you consulting on the Heritage Living project?
The Heritage Living project is a key project within the Future High Streets Funding programme and is being taken forward in partnership with Salisbury City Council. The project is still being developed but we do intend to seek residents' views on the proposals in the future. Updates will be provided as this project develops further.
What impact do these schemes have on the City Hall / Cultural Quarter proposals?
We are working closely with the City Hall / Cultural Quarter project team to ensure they are aware of these proposals and can comment on the designs to ensure that any improvements carried out on Fisherton Street complements with their future scheme.
Was the new shared use path on Mill Road, part of the Future High Streets Funded projects?
This was a separate scheme, but it was the first stage of a range of improvements to the station and access routes to it with the aim of making Salisbury Railway Station a more welcoming place for visitors and residents alike. The shared path was funded by the council and SWR and completed in 2021.
How is the new Salisbury Traditional Original brand being reflected in these proposals?
We have been working with Salisbury City Council to develop the projects and during the public consultation in 2022, the consultation material reflected the Salisbury marque, narrative and visual identity of the new brand. As the proposals are designed in more detail, further consideration will be given to incorporating the brand into the schemes.