Inclusive and universal design are being built into the regeneration of Basildon town centre thanks to the Inclusive Basildon Borough project.
Inclusive Basildon Borough was launched by Basildon Council in January 2020, with the aim of making the borough more inclusive and accessible while also creating greater economic opportunities for businesses and organisations to unlock the purple pound.
The purple pound refers to the spending powers of disabled households, and equates to around £250 billion a year to the UK economy.
Although this is a long term strategy which seeks to embed inclusive design into all regeneration projects, there is already inclusion being stamped on what’s going on right now in and around the town centre.
Inclusive Basildon Borough project has engaged with OnSide, who are bringing Essex’s first Youth Zone to the borough. The new state-of-the-art Youth Zone in Basildon will have accessible facilities and inclusive activities which will help to remove barriers for everyone including disabled young people and their carers.
The project also links into Highways England’s new road restructuring which is already happening around the town – because it’s not just about the town centre itself, it’s about making the journey to and from the town centre accessible for all.
Chairman of the Housing and Communities Committee, Councillor Kerry Smith, said: “The Inclusive Basildon Borough project is an essential cog in the town centre regeneration.
“Making sure that inclusivity is at the heart of the town centre regeneration is crucial. We want to create a town centre that is a place where absolutely everyone can visit and feel comfortable and confident when they do so.”
Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, added: “The new Basildon town centre will be a vibrant, mixed community with new cultural and entertainment facilities, and one of the most important aspects is that it’s being designed for the benefit of everyone in our borough.
“The Inclusive Basildon Borough project are doing great work within the town centre and across the borough, to make sure that people who face different challenges every day are not only being listened to, but that their voices are being acted upon too.”