Nelson town centre revamp wins national award

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THE dramatic work carried out in Nelson town centre has won a national award – and is in the line-up for another.

The work Pendle Council has done has been honoured with the 2012 Natural Stone Sustainability Awards landscape title, won last year by Hampton Court Palace.

And it is shortlisted for the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation’s 2012 Streets Award, too.

The decision on that will be made soon.

The Natural Stone honour is a result of the way stone has been used in the heart of Nelson, including the amphitheatre, routes through town and the Memorial Square outside Nelson Library.

The report from the judging panel points out that Nelson had experienced decline in recent years, largely because of shifts in retail trends.

And it says: “A mixture of high quality locally-sourced natural stone and man-made materials have created a visually pleasing, robust scheme.

“Stone paving flags to the pedestrian movement zones, stone setts to crossing points and hot rolled asphalt coloured buff for durability to the vehicular route.”

And it adds: “The decline in the commercial viability and popular usage of Nelson town centre over recent years has been directly challenged by this innovative project.

“Through the adoption of a sensitive and inclusive approach in establishing a new spatial identity for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists, the project offers the real prospect of creating a long-lasting sustainable future for the central area of the town.

“In no small measure, this has been created through the extensive use of local stone in the re-invigoration of the townscape shapes.” In relation to the sitting area around The Shuttle, it says: “The central amphitheatre of oval granite seating, with integrated lighting and drainage detailing, is designed to accommodate small gatherings, while cleverly thwarting potential anti-social behaviour.”

It then adds: “Maintaining the identity of the town’s past into the future, the original Scout and War Memorials have been dismantled and re-erected without damage, while a modern memorial, with the names of the Fallen etched in glass, has been incorporated in a frame of local stone.”

And it concludes: “An ecological and functional approach as been successfully adopted to encourage the sustainable future re-use of the town centre. The project deserves a wider appreciation of what has been achieved and successfully created.

“Evolving through direct public participation, social interaction and innovative initiatives, the scheme is intended to be as equally and positively effective in its impact on the town centre, both night and day.

“In no small measure, this is due to the considerable, appropriate and sensitive use of indigenous local stone.”