Motherwell Town Centre Charrette Plus

10 October 2015 | blog, designing streets, street design, town centres, working with communities

In June 2015 we were part of a team led by PAS, to facilitate the Motherwell Town Centre Charrette Plus. It was commissioned by North Lanarkshire Council to produce an updated Motherwell Town Centre Action Plan. This was seen as a new vision of a less disjointed, more attractive and pedestrian friendly town centre with more vibrancy and activity.

PAS undertook pre-Charrette consultation at local schools and with various stakeholders. The four day Charretteplus workshop sessions came up with two major issues in the town centre that should be addressed – physical breaks and unclear management structures. The aim was to produce proposals for the Action Plan which were realistic, focusing on generating activity in streets and places. Four key themes developed during the Charrette: greenspace, community activities, existing assets and networks and wayfinding.

Our role was to generate a series of proposals which would support these key themes. These included:

  • establishing Garrion Square as a key performance space in the town centre, showing the potential of events run local organisations as a way of attracting people and activities into the town centre, improving footfall and retail performance at little capital cost
  • widening the footpaths at chosen locations to improve the pedestrian environment and give premises the opportunity to use space outside their shops to display goods
  • changing the road layout along Brandon Street by narrowing the carriageway, widening the footpaths and planting trees to improve the pedestrian environment and lower traffic speeds
  • creating a low speed environment on Windmillhill Street at the Health Centre by introducing a wide crossing point for pedestrians, lane narrowing, a median strip and creating a sensory garden on the scruffy space outside the Health Centre

In addition to these proposals, with the help of PAS Volunteers, we mapped community group interests, relating these to social spaces in the town centre and to greenspace assets. From this we developed the basis of an outline strategy for a community orientated spatial plan and a new wayfinding strategy for the town centre. These map sets are shown below.

Willie Miller, the founder and principal of WMUD, died on 12th January 2021 after a short illness. Willie was a much-loved husband and father and had a huge circle of friends  and professional colleagues. He was a multi-talented urban designer whose work had a major impact on hundreds of cities, towns and neighbourhoods throughout the UK and over the past 25 years. He also worked in Ireland, the Channel Islands and the USA.

Ines Triebel has been with WMUD since 2005, and she will continue the practice, drawing on her skills as a planner and designer. Ines has worked on place strategies, masterplans, policy guidance, regeneration and development frameworks, and the design of public realm and streetscape projects. She has extensive experience of working with communities, including charrettes.

WMUD will continue its long-standing strategic partnerships with Benton Scott-Simmons, Nick Wright Planning, Kevin Murray Associates, icecream architecture, yellow book and others. Please direct inquiries to Ines at [email protected] or contact any of the practices named above.