The Academy of Urbanism visited Stroud and carried out a consultation last year. The Town Council awarded a grant of £600 to help fund the visit, which was initiated through The Weave, a group aiming to draw together a number of community visions and aspirations for the River Frome and canal corridor.
The Weave is also supported by Stroud District Council, the Chamber of Trade and Stroud Common Wealth plus individual traders. One of the major projects The Weave will consider is the impact of the restoration of the Cotswold Canals and how the social, environmental and economic interactions which occur along its route will affect towns and rural areas.
Town councillor Ben Spencer is involved with the project. He says The Weave, along with the Academy of Urbanism, is about being pro-active and looking for ways to improve the community. “The restoration of the canal and the doubling of the railway line means there will be development in Stroud. We need to be pro-active and manage what we want in terms of green spaces, housing and work space rather than just standing back and letting it happen in an ad hoc way,” he said.
Seeing Stroud as a focal point of the canal corridor, the Weave is looking at a range of plans and issues including increased social enterprise, town centre management, managing biodiversity, local food, energy and wood production and increased access to nature.
The invitation to the Academy of Urbanism was one of the Weave’s initiatives. The report from its visit to Stroud is being finalised and will help The Weave and the Town Council further shape the vision for the town’s future.
Click here to view The Weave Symposium and Sense of Place animation.