In 2008, Hyndburn Borough Council commissioned the urban cooperative practice, URBED, to design and develop a town centre strategy for Accrington, which would “secure the right change for the town that is sustainable, distinctive to Accrington and ensures its future prosperity” (URBED, 2008). Ten years later, what has changed? What were the successes of the project? What were the failures of the project? And why did it fail? And what could have been the potential of the project?
Ten years later, it is clear that Accrington still requires considerable development at both micro and macro levels. Proposed interventions need to address Accrington's economy and the number of visitors, but also improve the education and skills of the town's residents as these are the primary challenges that the town faces.
"The Accrington 2040 Masterplan" is the solution; the project is delivered across three phases across a range of scales.
Phase one is the development of Accrington SkillShare Centre - a micro intervention at the former Grade II Listed Conservative Club. The Skill Centre will offer courses in which skills are transferable to the high street - with the aim that graduating students open micro-businesses across the town centre. Phase two proposes interventions at a macro scale. Implementing recommendations from published High Streets reports such as the Portas Review (2011) and Learning from London's High Streets (2014), overlaid with Hyndburn Borough Councils' proposals as well as the actor requirements. Phase three is a business handbook for those who have graduated from the SkillShare Centre, on how they can add a successful business to the high street.
Work in progress. Expected completion July 2022. Follow @joe_drawsarchitecture for updates.