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Two new urban ‘parklets’ will be created in Exeter city centre

Published: 29 January 2024

Two new urban ‘parklets’ will be created in Exeter city centre Two new urban ‘parklets’ will be created

Plans for the installation of two new ‘parklets’ for the city centre have been unveiled by InExeter, the business improvement district for the city.

Parklets, a growing urban trend, address challenges in areas where narrow or congested pavements limit outdoor seating or where there is a need to expand seating and public space.

They contribute to creating vibrant, planted, seating areas and provide space for people to enjoy and foster community engagement.

The Exeter parklets are scheduled for installation in early February and will be located on Fore Street and Musgrave Row.

It is hoped that the repurposed parking spaces will enrich the public space experience for residents and visitors to the city.

The parklets have received £50,000 in funding from Exeter City Council through the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, and are being commissioned by InExeter. The Shared Prosperity Fund is an initiative dedicated to improving public spaces and building pride in local places.

The project aligns with key post-pandemic themes, including support for the local food and drink scene, the city's Net Zero Carbon goals and initiatives promoting health, wellbeing, and public space.

Councillor Laura Wright, Deputy Leader of Exeter City Council and Portfolio Holder for Culture and City Centre Strategy, said: “These two parklets are poised to make a significant impact on the city, representing a positive step in cultivating communal spaces. Serving as free, accessible hubs for relaxation and socialising, parklets encourage people to connect and spend extended periods in the city.”

Nicola Wheeler, CEO of InExeter, said: “There is a growing demand for more spaces for people to dwell in our city which compliments the introduction of green infrastructure, such as parklets, which provide a much-needed resting space from the hustle and bustle of the urban environment supporting our member businesses as well as benefitting the local community and visitors.”

The parklet project aims to elevate the quality of the city's streetscape and encourage community and business engagement.

Fore Street, known for its creative and independent spirit, will benefit from a parklet that reflects the area's identity and sustainability goals.

Musgrave Row, an underused area in the centre will be revitalised, contributing to a more vibrant and connected city centre.

The parklets will be designed with careful consideration for planting, landscaping, weather resilience, maintenance costs and incorporate sustainable materials.

The spaces will provide seating, inviting visitors to linger and enjoy the surroundings, with designated areas for coffee and outdoor dining. A local business has been commissioned to fabricate and install both parklets and artist Paul Monster will bring them to life with bright colours.

Callum Elliott-Archer, of Exeter Library, said: “It is great to see this being installed on Musgrave Row next to the library. There is a real opportunity to improve this space so that people can sit, have lunch, read books, play games and enjoy the area outside. There is definitely an appetite for this."

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