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 Vision for Evesham Town Centre

Over the next 20 years Evesham will provide a great affordable place to live, visit and play focused on its riverside location and offer of key attractions, heritage and horticulture both within Evesham itself and the surrounding area.

Evesham will attract more overnight visitors, relocators, businesses and investment by being the hub for Broadway, Cheltenham, Warwick Castle, Stratford upon Avon, Worcester, Malvern Hills and the Cotswolds as a whole.

It will provide the setting for great farmers’ markets and be a hive of activity on market days, both within the Town Centre and providing a wider leisure offer alongside the River Avon. The river will be the central attractor of the town; opening up views, creating pathways along it, and providing a backdrop for family fun, sports, events, food and drink from pop up providers, festivals, walks and trails.

There will be ample opportunity to access evening entertainment – whether that’s enjoying a new film at the Regal Cinema, a theatre production at the refurbished Public Hall, or finding somewhere great to eat. There will be more opportunity for café culture, making the most of the Market Place but also along the High Street, given that this will no longer be dominated by the car.52 53

Strategic objectives for Evesham Town CentreImage of knights on horseback

To achieve the vision there are six strategic objectives:

  • Developing Evesham as a leisure destination and a great day out. Making the most of its picturesque River Avon setting in the Vale of Evesham, alongside a vibrant and mixed selection of retailers, providing a reason for all ages to visit and enjoy Evesham.
  • Enhancing the evening economy. Building on the recent food and beverage offer concentrated on Market Place, ensuring there is an offer that provides for all ages including a night-time economy for younger people and family-friendly all-day dining.
  • Building and showcasing a coherent Evesham offer. Presenting the existing Evesham leisure and visitor attraction offer as a package, showcasing the Regal Cinema and Henrician Theatre, developing new attractions and supporting food and beverage providers.
  • Positioning Evesham as centre for the sub-region. Building on the recent food and beverage offer concentrated on Market Place, ensuring there is an offer that provides for all ages; night-time economy for younger people and family-friendly all-day dining.
  • Evesham is recognised as a town that welcomes walkers and cyclists. Providing an attractive and safe environment to enable Active Travel to become the first choice for everyday journeys in and around town.
  • Climate resilience to facilitate a low carbon lifestyle. Through transport and active travel and reducing car dominance, access to services, but also on adapting to climate change with the natural environment providing mitigation for extreme weather events, carbon capture and increasing biodiversity.

Spatial strategy for Evesham Town Centre

Rather than create a masterplan for the town centre, which will have a fixed set of ideas and proposals about what needs to be done based on what we know now, a spatial strategy has been produced instead.

Put simply, a spatial strategy maps out all the assets in the town centre area and suggests how best they can be arranged to achieve the vision and strategic objectives.

The advantage of using this approach is it can be changed and altered as opportunities occur and circumstances change over the next 20 years.

The spatial strategy for Evesham proposes:

  • More efficient use of space across the High Street rebalancing the street section to create more pedestrian focused spaces, spill out and dwell spaces as well as dedicated active travel links along the carriageway.
  • Reconnecting with the riverside and encouraging better use of this natural asset. This would include event spaces, natural play space, areas to rest and enjoy picnics as well as opportunities to walk through natural wetlands and fish along the River Avon.
  • Creating an active travel loop along the riverside connecting Abbey Park to Evesham Rugby Club/ Hampton Ferry.
  • Coordinated redevelopment of a number of surface car parks across Chapel Street, Oat Street and Swan Lane to create a contemporary urban neighbourhood within the heart of the Town Centre and which maximises proximity some of the town’s most sought after amenities.
  • Redevelopment of the Riverside Shopping Centre, to revitalise Evesham’s retail core and reconnect the Town Centre with Abbey Park.
  • Public realm enhancements to town squares to encourage the public to stop and relax and improve the overall experience of the Town Centre.
  • Improvements to key junctions along High Street to help ease traffic conditions as well create a more pedestrian/ cycle friendly route through the town.
  • Enhancements to Port Street as an extension of the Town Centre.

Movement strategy for Evesham town centre

The movement strategy puts forward options for how travel in and around the town centre can be improved to meet the vision and strategic objectives.

  • Encouraging an Active Travel Programme with walking and cycling links to create a safe, comprehensive, integrated network. Focus on surfacing, lighting, and public realm improvements.
  • Upgraded High Street corridor to create improved pedestrian and cycle environment.
  • Visual narrowing of carriageway but two-lane highway remains.
  • Active travel links around the southern boundary of Evesham and back into the Town Centre to reconnect the river with the town.
  • Parking Strategy. A requirement for a comprehensive multimodal review of network efficiency and infrastructure. Should look at potential for consolidation of parking offer in and around the centre – development opportunities / walk and stride etc.
  • Proposed junction / pedestrian crossing improvements - A4184 High Street / A4184 Greenhill / B4624 Worcester Road Junction, Abbey Bridge Junction, Vine Street / High Street / Bridge Street Junction and A4184 (Cheltenham Road) / Davies Road Junction.
  • Pedestrian crossings which prioritise pedestrian routes and improve east to west connectivity between existing residential and the Town Centre.
  • Future parking strategy to inform consolidation / reallocation of surface car parking in the centre.

Proposed change zones and opportunity sites for Evesham Town Centre

These sites have the greatest potential to make significant changes for the better to Evesham Town Centre.

Riverside Shopping CentreEvesham Town Centre with shops on the left and right and people walking down the middle of the street.

The redevelopment of the Riverside Centre site provides an opportunity to link Evesham’s historic retail core with the crown jewels of its rich heritage – namely the

Abbey’s Bell Tower, its churches, Almonry Museum, Market Square and Public Hall. The site will contain an eclectic mixture of new homes, high-quality retail and leisure opportunities, making the most of the site’s attractive frontage onto Abbey Park and

views of the River Avon.

The centre currently contains over 40 retail units. Chase Commercial Ltd purchased the site in 2017 and controls the majority of the site, working with Wychavon District Council in relation to its ownership of the Public Hall.

Chase Commercial Ltd has been working closely with Wychavon District Council to develop a masterplan for a mixed-use redevelopment scheme, including potential for 70 residential apartments, a hotel, restaurants, cafés, bars, independent retail outlets and a theatre.

The site is situated in the heart of Evesham Town Centre, with potential to link Evesham’s key tourist attractions to the south and west of the site with its historic retail core to the north. The site is within walking distance of ample car parking provision and bus stops for local bus services.

Evesham station provides mainline services to London Paddington, Worcestershire Parkway and Worcester; within 10-minute walking distance.

The scheme is envisaged to be framed by high quality public realm links between Bridge Street to the north towards the Bell Tower and Abbey Park to the south.

Evesham Public Hall is owned by Wychavon District Council and there is already a commitment to refurbish it to create a new home for Evesham Arts Centre.

Chapel Quarter

At present, Oat Street and Chapel Street cater predominantly for the car. There is an opportunity to remake this part of Evesham Town Centre for people; an environment that prioritises the pedestrian and creates space for a range of people to live within easy walking distance of Evesham Town Centre.

Given council ownership these sites provide a major opportunity to deliver a prominent, high quality residential scheme which appeals to young professionals and families. There is scope to deliver predominantly two-storey dwellings (two and three bed) alongside a small proportion of apartments.

Public realm improvements are proposed along Chapel Street and Cowl Street, to create a legible and attractive walking route between the High Street and the centre of Bridge Street.

The deliverability of development in both of these locations will be subject to the outcome of a detailed car parking study to assess current usage, understand the impact of losing the car parking spaces and the location/s (in and out of town) for any required reprovision. It will also require support of the County Highway Authority.

In summary the proposal would involve:

  • Coordinated redevelopment of a number of surface car parks across Chapel Street, Oat Street and Swan Lane to create a contemporary urban neighbourhood within the heart of the Town Centre which optimises proximity to some of the town’s most sought after amenities.
  • Defining streets with overlooking development and front door access creates an inviting and pleasant new residential quarter. This will create an attractive, pedestrian prioritised new link between the station, local primary schools such as Swan Lane First School, the retail core and Abbey Park.
  • Potential to expand surface car parking provision south of the Cowl Street car park (behind Iceland) utilising land within control of the Council and to absorb some of the spaces lost through the redevelopment of surface car parks (all subject to a town wide car parking assessment and strategy).
  • Public realm enhancements and tree planting help to celebrate some to the Chapel Quarter’s characterful historic buildings as well as creating a legible and interesting route to the Riverside Shopping Centre.

The proposal involves various sites offering different opportunities.

Former Aldi and Oat Street Car Park

The site currently comprises a 156-space surface car park and a former food store, which is situated opposite a residential scheme being delivered by Rooftop Housing Association, comprising 27 one and two bedroom apartments. The site presents a medium term residential-led redevelopment opportunity for medium-density housing, with a new pedestrian/ cycle link between Swan Lane and Oat Street.

Chapel Street Car Park

The site currently comprises a 70-space surface car park. It presents a residential redevelopment opportunity.

Land at Oat Street and Cowl Street

The site currently comprises an 8-space surface car park. It presents a residential redevelopment opportunity.

Cowl Street Car Park

The site currently comprises a surface car park. It presents a residential-led redevelopment opportunity.

High Street

This proposal aims to create a more people focused high street. Important changes include:

  • More efficient use of space, rebalancing the street section to create more pedestrian focused spaces, spill out and dwell spaces as well as dedicated active travel links along the carriageway.
  • A step change in the visual appearance of the High Street’s public realm materials as well as a number of vehicle calming proposals, including carriageway narrowing (physical and/ or visual), footway build outs and more pedestrian crossing opportunities will help to change driver behaviours. These reinforce that this part of Evesham’s Town Centre is a space firstly for pedestrians as well as cyclists. Vehicles are forced to slow down and negotiate traffic calming measures as they travel through this Town Centre environment
  • Re-introduction of tree planting along the High Street to help soften the visual appearance of the streetscape. Introduction of rain gardens, urban planting areas combined with seating areas, encouraging people to dwell and creating a more inviting environment that complements the area’s history.

Riverside parklandThe River Avon at Evesham

  • Crown Meadow remains as the town’s key events space. Enhanced riverbank amenities invite you to reconnect with the river – fishing pods, boardwalks, deck view points, kayak and canoe moorings linked to rowing club.
  • Improved and potential increased parking provision.
  • The Christmas tree farm site could be reimagined into an active community space. This could include, natural and wild play, community allotments & orchards offering food resilience and local produce. Additional walking trails would connect to Abbey Park and Crown Meadow.
  • Community wetlands to the west – biodiversity net gain and adaptable landscapes in response to flooding. Consultation has recently been undertaken by Worcestershire County Council on the proposal for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge at Hampton connecting history, local independent retailers and the riverscape.
  • Trim trail and outdoor wellbeing within Corporation Meadow linked to the leisure centre.
  • New community play spaces focused around Abbey Park and the Hampton ferry crossing and Evesham Rugby Club.

Additional development sites

Some sites provide development opportunities but ownership rights and other issues mean they are considered long-term options, if they become available at all.

Because of this there are no definite proposals or suggestions for these sites, they are just highlighted as potential opportunities to help achieve the overall vision for the town.

They are:

  • M&M Smart Repairs
  • Vauxhall Garage
  • Hand car wash
  • Europa food store and associated car park, CAB unit, Central Bathrooms and additional retail on Port Street
  • Robert Cars Dealers site
  • Land at Common Road
  • Leicester Grove

Timeline for delivery

There are no fixed timelines for delivery of any of these proposals. The prospectus sets out opportunities for transforming the town centre area and a strategy for doing so.

How and if these proposals get delivered will depend on various things including the willingness of various landowners and access to funding.

That said, we haven’t produced this prospectus so it can sit on a shelf and be ignored. Wychavon will be doing all we can, together with our partners, to promote the opportunities available and use our resources, where appropriate, to make things happen.

More information

If you have any questions about the Evesham Town Centre Investment Prospectus then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You can also pdf download a full copy of the Evesham Town Centre Investment Prospectus. (15.08 MB)