Basildon Borough Council – Wickford Town Centre regeneration
Basildon Borough Council
In 2008, Basildon Council had abandoned a major regeneration project for Wickford, a once prosperous market town in Essex, when the property market downturn meant the scheme became unviable. This had damaged the Council’s reputation with local residents and when Regenfirst was brought in to support and strengthen the Council’s regeneration function in 2011, there was considerable frustration from the Leader and Cabinet Members about the lack of any regeneration activity in Wickford. Following a quick review of the previous masterplan, Regenfirst scoped out a much more deliverable programme of highly visible ‘quick win’ improvements to Wickford town centre including a leisure centre extension, a new GP surgery, a streetscape scheme, shop front improvements and a market relocation. After securing Cabinet approval, Regenfirst project managed delivery of the entire programme through matrix management of a Council delivery team bringing together existing staff from regeneration, property, finance, legal and communications and reporting to Members through a new project board. The £5m scheme is being delivered on time and on budget and is financed through sale of land to housing developers on the open market.