Shrewsbury’s heritage will be celebrated, says Big Town Plan

Shrewsbury’s rich heritage will be celebrated and protected whilst allowing room for the town to move forward, according to the Big Town Plan’s vision for the future of the town. 

People are being invited to a series of public debates and discussions about a Masterplan Vision, which suggests a range of ways that Shrewsbury could evolve over the next 20 years and beyond. 

The Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Festival is running from January 19 to 29, with a variety of sessions being held via video link on the website. 

One of the sessions, taking place on January 27 at 11am, will focus on heritage and public space in Shrewsbury, with representatives from University Centre Shrewsbury and Historic England discussing how the town’s heritage should be celebrated and showcased. 

David Milner from Create Streets will also present some of their recent work about what makes a place successful and popular with particular reference to heritage. 

Professor Tim Jenkins, of University Centre Shrewsbury, who is among the panel discussing the issues at the event, said there needed to be a balance between protecting the town’s history and moving forward. 

“We are all quite rightly proud and protective of Shrewsbury’s heritage, because it is a major element of the town’s identity,” he said. 

“We need to celebrate Shrewsbury’s heritage while ensuring the town remains sustainable in a 21st Century economy, and that’s why having a clear strategy like the Big Town Plan is so important.” 

The Masterplan Vision, published in January 2021 by Glenn Howells Architects on behalf of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership, explains how heritage and conservation have been considered as part of the development of the vision. 

The report says: “The masterplan was developed from a baseline understanding of Shrewsbury’s historic status, and how the different study areas ‘worked together’ to create the town’s special sense of place. 

“The overall intention was to strengthen this sense of place, creating new places which reflect Shrewsbury’s ambition for the future, while enhancing and investing in historic places which already hold meaning in the town’s development.” 

The Big Town Plan Partnership, made up of Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID, is now seeking the views of people on the Masterplan Vision and the online questionnaire can be found here.