Artist impression of the Square – Image: DDC
Work to revamp Dover’s Market Square is set to start in November following final approval by Dover District Council’s Cabinet yesterday (4 October 2021).
The £3.6m revamp creates a more welcoming environment for local shoppers and a focal point for visitors to the town centre, including a new event space and a unique water feature.
Highway improvements make the Market Square more pedestrian friendly, and new paving, seating, lighting and planting create a more attractive street scene in the Market Square, as well as improving links between Cannon Street, St James, and the waterfront.
The project is funded by £2.44m from the Coastal Communities Fund secured by the Dover Town Team, and £1.2m from Dover District Council. Dover Town Council has also contributed to the project.
Kent County Council is a key partner in the project as the highway authority and has led on the appointment of contractors, Kent-based FM Conway.
Construction is expected to take nine months with completion in summer 2022. Local residents and businesses in the Market Square and surrounding area will be kept informed about the construction progress with regular newsletters and an exhibition, and can sign-up for regular e-mail alerts with Keep Me Posted (select ‘Market Square Dover’ from the list of topics).
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “Town centres were changing long before the pandemic, but it’s more important than ever that we help local businesses to adapt to new shopping and leisure trends.
“This exciting project inspired by local traders through the Dover Town Team secures the future of the Market Square at the heart of the town centre, creating new opportunities for events and cafe-culture in a welcoming, family-friendly space.”
John Angell, Chairman of the Dover Town Team, said: “It’s great to see the revamp of the Market Square getting underway. It couldn’t come at a better time as high street traders and potential investors look for new opportunities in the town.
“We’re looking forward to working with partners to deliver an exciting programme of events in the Market Square.”
Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “I am delighted KCC is playing a role in shaping the future of Dover’s town centre.
“Working with our contractors, we will be supporting the delivery of this project by improving links and making the area more suitable for pedestrians.
“Along with the new event space and water feature, this rejuvenation should serve as recognition of the vibrant and attractive place Dover has the potential to be.”