Landscape architect Gillespies has revealed design proposals for Lancaster city centre.

Gillespies' proposed design for Market Square, Lancaster
Gillespies' proposed design for Market Square, Lancaster

Lancaster City Council, with funding from the Northwest Development Agency and Lancashire County Council, has commissioned detailed design proposals for a number of public streets in the city centre. The project, known as Lancaster Square Routes, aims to create a centre that builds on the history and heritage of the city, but still maintains a modern outlook.

Gillespies has collaborated with public artists Amenity Space on the designs, which include the creation of a new city park, the revamp of Market Square, Horseshoe Corner, Sun Square and other major linkages.

Market Square is at the heart of Lancaster, accommodating diverse activities and people of all ages. The square is currently regarded as lacking a sense of place and purpose. The proposals aim to create a classic, timeless public square which respects the architecture of the surrounding buildings and embraces city life – a place for markets, special events and informal gatherings.

Sun Square offers a contrast to Market Square and is a space away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Today, the square has a neglected feel with buildings having turned their backs on it. The proposals would see the square embraced as a vibrant garden that creates an atmospheric setting for the grand Music Room building. Ornate planting, topiary, raised lawns, water, lighting and a flowering green wall evoke the traditional Georgian walled garden.

The proposals to create a city park include Vicarage Fields and Quay Meadow – one of the city’s under-used urban green spaces. Located on the edge of the city centre, they are an invaluable but under-used resource that links the quayside and surrounding communities with the city centre. Gillespies’ proposals would see the creation of a city park to provide a showcase for sustainable living and historic interpretation. The community-led scheme would provide allotment gardens, play, sport and leisure facilities, a new ‘eco hub’ and educational opportunities.

A public consultation has now been completed and the council is currently assessing responses before taking the project to the next stage.


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