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Wick Street Design Festival to help redesign Wick's High Street

6th January 2020

Photograph of Wick Street Design Festival to help redesign Wick's High Street

Wickers are being asked to help develop designs ideas to help improve the High Street.

Launched in October 2019, the Wick Street Design Project is a partnership project between Sustrans Scotland, The Highland Council, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council and Local Councillors working on an ambitious collaborative project to re-design Wick High Street.

The project works with locals to develop a design that represents the community's vision for Wick High Street. It aims to create:

· Warm, welcoming and more attractive public spaces;

· A comfortable and safe environment to walk, wheel and cycle;

· Better travel experiences through Wick town centre - particularly when accessing local facilities;

· A sense of identity for the town centre in Wick, drawing on local culture and heritage;

Events and surveys through October 2019 provided hundreds of suggestions from a range of Wickers on the changes they would like to see. This included changes to the pedestrian precinct, celebrating Wick's history, incorporating more artwork and greenery while prioritising accessibility along the High Street. The team have also been observing public life to better understand movement through the High Street.

Wick Street Design Festival 15th -16th January 2020

On the 15th, the Wick Street Design Team will be working with The Wick Society at the Wick Heritage Museum from 2-5pm where they will be asking Wickers to share and explore the history of the town centre through stories and images. There will also be an intergenerational workshop to address the needs of all who live and work in Wick.

On the 16th, they will host drop-in sessions from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at Assembly Rooms. Local residents will be able to see maps, models and drawings that the team will use to collect ideas and showcase potential changes for the High Street.

All are invited to meet the team, view the information gathered so far and discuss solutions and ideas. There will be tea and biscuits provided for those wanting to escape the cold winter weather!

Kasia Koziel, Project Lead, Sustrans, said:"We are delighted to be working with Highland Council and the community to make improvements to Wick's High Street.

Whether you live, work or travel through Wick High Street, we need your input to ensure the design proposals reflect needs and aspirations of the whole community, so please come along and tell us what improvements you would like to see in your local area."

Chair of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee, Councillor Matthew Reiss said: "I am not surprised by the enthusiasm to improve the town centre area. Caithness has extraordinary community spirit and a real sense of local identity stemming, in part, from our Norse heritage.

We also have a real determination to highlight the many positive reasons to live in the county. My Wick colleagues have, with others, done a power of work to get to this exciting stage and we are all really excited by the future for our county town".

The council's Project Champion Councillor Nicola Sinclair added: "I'd like to thank the community for giving the Sustrans team such a warm welcome when they came to Wick for the ‘discover’ stage of the Street Design programme.

The Wick Street Design project is shaped by a series of events in the local area and offers opportunities for locals to get involved between September 2019 and June 2020. The project will then be handed over to Highland Council in June 2020 to develop further.

To find out more about the project visit: https://wick.commonplace.is/news

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