In June 2019 a large group of local businesses, stakeholders and both Town and District Councils met with Bill Grimsey at the John Paul Centre to hear his views on the future of retail and discuss the prospects for our own town centre.
This event led to the formation of a ‘Task Group’ whose challenge from Bill would be to pull together an outline plan for the future of Bicester.
In November 2020, the group presented their outline plan to the original audience of local stakeholders. Below is a summary of the vision and the six key themes that the Task Group believe will help to transform Bicester into a town fit for the 21st century and beyond.
Bicester is an authentic market town with a strong ambition for a bright economic future.
So we aim to help create and maintain:
- A safe and happy place for the next generation to grow up in with a thriving, resilient and well-connected community.
- A town ready to embrace positive change for the future while taking care to preserve and enhance the landscape and heritage of its past.
- To be the pride of Oxfordshire and the UK.
These are the values identified to embed into the community life
- Inclusivity, connectivity and access
- technology and innovation
- health and wellbeing and sustainability
The following six themes have been worked into an outline plan, each with a number of strategic objectives, to help bring about transformation in the town centre to ensure it stays relevant for the future generations as Bicester continues to grow:
- Arts and culture
- Events and experiential activities
- Community Hub
- Townscape and Landscape
- Retail and town centre
Whilst many good initiatives are already underway the task group is looking forward to sharing the full plan alongside a more detailed business plan. The aim is to do this in a public venue this summer and invite comments and participation from the wider community.