08 June 2022

Jamie Webb speaks at Clerkenwell Design Week on the recovery of the high street

Jamie Webb, Head of EMEA at Benoy recently joined leading figures from the property world for a New London Architecture panel session, High Street Recovery: revitalising our town centres,’ as part of Clerkenwell Design Week

The panel was Chaired by First Sukpaiboon from New London Architecture with fellow panellists Simon Ryan, Projects Director — Ballymore, Robert Westcott, Studio Director — Civic Engineers, Sophie Beagles, Principal Regeneration Officer — Ealing Council (London Borough of Ealing) and Krista Fieldhouse, Partner — Gerald Eve. 

Commenting, Jamie said: 

From a personal perspective, I’m very positive about the future of high streets and how these environments will evolve in the post-pandemic era. Benoy is just about to finish a project in Woking, which is the culmination of about 10 to 12 years of hard work. As lead design consultant on the project, Benoy has worked to engage local people and bring a town centre to life. Delivering two new public squares, including retail, residential and public realm, the programme is providing a boost to community confidence and enhancing Woking’s commercial prospects. 

Similarly, Benoy’s project at nearby Wokingham saw us working across two sites – Peach Place and Elms Fields, as part of a wider regeneration project instigated by Wokingham Borough Council in the face of a failing retail and leisure offer, lack of town centre living and competition from nearby competing centres such as Bracknell and Reading. Closely following Wokingham Borough Council’s vision, Benoy reimagined the town centre as a thriving destination for commerce and urban living; with modern retail formats, F&B, leisure and a significant quantum of residential across two mixed-use developments at Peach Place and Elms Field. 

For me, the importance of both of these projects has been improving local infrastructure and public realm to create vibrant town centres where people want to be. It’s about attracting third-party investment while ensuring that places like Woking or Wokingham, far from being just a gateway to other areas, become destinations in their own right.’

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Jamie at NLA
Jamie at NLA