Search

Mind the Gap - Historic England welcomes ‘playful addition’ to Wisbech town centre as part of £1.9 million regeneration project

PUBLISHED: 16:21 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:21 22 December 2017

The Gap in Wisbech - Mock showing The Gap in the day.

The Gap in Wisbech - Mock showing The Gap in the day.

Archant

Historic England described proposals to create a viewing platform within a newly built community hub at 24 High Street, Wisbech – know as The Gap- as “an interesting and playful addition” to the town centre.

The Gap in Wisbech -  1960s photograph of the High Street showing C.L. Cook located at no. 24.The Gap in Wisbech - 1960s photograph of the High Street showing C.L. Cook located at no. 24.

Architects working alongside the National Lottery-funded Wisbech High Street Project team have submitted a planning application to create The Gap that was once home to Cook’s Butchers.

The proposal will create what Fenland Council believes to be “an exceptional piece of public art” with a contemporary, multifunctional space that could stage community events, exhibitions and activities.

The Gap in Wisbech - A more recent photograph of No. 24.The Gap in Wisbech - A more recent photograph of No. 24.

Dallas-Pierce-Quintero’s (D-P-Q) design includes a public viewing platform, 12.5 metres above ground level..

“Our aspiration is to reimagine this site and bring it back to life, so that it celebrates the place of Wisbech and captures the views of its surroundings,” says a design and access statement.

The Gap in Wisbech - Artists impression - model of The Gap.The Gap in Wisbech - Artists impression - model of The Gap.

“The challenge is to create a space which is uplifting and changes people’s perceptions of what is currently an eyesore.”

The Gap forms part of a regeneration project being delivered by the council following the awarding of a £1.9 million Heritage Lottery Fund award.

The Gap in Wisbech - Landmark study looking north-eastThe Gap in Wisbech - Landmark study looking north-east

General management of the site will be the responsibility of ‘Mind the Gap’, a group made up of representatives from the district and town councils, the Wisbech Society, Ferry Project and Street Pride

Edward James of Historic England said: “We recognise that the proposed structure does not aim to reflect the prevailing eighteenth and nineteenth century architectural character of the original structure at No.24 or the adjoining buildings.

The Gap in Wisbech - Landmark study looking south-westThe Gap in Wisbech - Landmark study looking south-west

“However, we consider that, given the present constraints, the temporary nature of the proposal and in lieu of a viable opportunity to permanently redevelop the site at this time, the proposed structure would be an interesting and playful addition to the streetscape in Wisbech’s town centre and conservation area”

He added: “The site has been sadly neglected and presently detracts from the appearance of the High Street.

The Gap in Wisbech - Mock showing The Gap at night with the gate locked.The Gap in Wisbech - Mock showing The Gap at night with the gate locked.

“This scheme would bring the site back into a use that would engage the local community, provide a social and cultural space, and would contribute to the High Street’s distinctiveness.”

The district council says that because of “funding constraints and the need to regenerate other High Street buildings” the proposed design is temporary but includes a permanent metal structure to accommodate any future building if and when more funding becomes available.

The Gap in Wisbech - Panoramic views north-west and north-eastThe Gap in Wisbech - Panoramic views north-west and north-east

Councillor David Oliver, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member for heritage, said: “The Heritage Lottery funding has enabled us to put this exciting and ambitious plan forward to bring an eyesore on our Wisbech High Street back into public use.

“Community engagement told us that people wanted The Gap to have a ‘wow factor’ that would improve the streetscene and raise the profile of the town, and these plans will help us deliver that.”

The Gap in Wisbech - Panoramic views south-east and south-westThe Gap in Wisbech - Panoramic views south-east and south-west

The Gap in Wisbech - Suspended above the Gap on 'view survey'.The Gap in Wisbech - Suspended above the Gap on 'view survey'.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest from the EDP

Show Job Lists

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 19°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast