THE night sky lit up with images of how a Southend community square could look in the future.
More than 400 people visited Southend’s Victoria Gateway on Friday and Saturday to see how the community space could be transformed.
The event was part of a national initiative, called Pocket Places, and featured an interactive light show projecting images across the shared space area.
Trees, a graffiti wall, a children’s play area, benches and pop-up art galleries are just some of the ideas put forward by the charity Sustrans, which is working with Southend Council on Pocket Places, to brighten up unused zones of the town and make them more “people-friendly”.
Projections were beamed on to the floor, accompanied by music which drew in interested residents in the evening. People were also able to voice opinions on the design proposal over the weekend.
Krithika Ramesh, project co-ordinator for Pocket Places, said: “Some people were really interested in the design and others just wanted to enjoy the show.
“The exhibition was all about showing off the fantastic community space and how we plan on improving wellbeing.
“The music drowned out the sound of the traffic which was great and others said you could have been in London or another country, it looked that good.”
All the images beamed around the shared space were ideas from Southend residents, who have been having their say on how to brighten up the area since May 2013.
The project hopes to make the town more accessible for all residents, pedestrians and cyclists, including skaters who want to make Victoria Gateway safer and elderly people, who are asking for more benches.
In October last year, the council decided to spend £55,000 on regenerating the area Victoria Gateway, after a nine-month independent review into the area’s safety.
As well as the area outside Southend Victoria railway station, London Road, opposite Sainsbury’s and North Road, in Westcliff, could form part of the project.
The plans are now out to tender, although construction is likely to begin in the summer.
By LUKE LAMBERT firstname.lastname@example.org ýý Peek at the future – project designer Krithika Ramesh, right, surrounded by visitors to the event Picture: ANNA LUKALA BA93135_30 ýý Having fun – people enjoy the show