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Armada Way to have a new look

27 August 2022

Armada WayLong awaited plans to make Armada Way a better place are moving up a gear with the appointment of contractors Morgan Sindall to carry out the pre-construction design.

The dated and piecemeal landscaping will be going and in its place will be a new urban park over kilometre long, lined on either side by an avenue of trees.

The aim is to create a more impressive route from North Cross roundabout through the city centre and a clear visual link to the sea, which was the original ambition of Armada Way. It is part of an ongoing programme designed to address years of under-investment in city centre streets and spaces.

As well as restoring the view to create a more impressive and grand welcome into the city centre, new features will appear including:

  • play and mixed use games areas for all ages
  • water-based play space
  • dancing fountain jets
  • bike parking – a mobility hub will be going in at Mayflower Street and will be integrated into the scheme
  • improved and centralised crossing at Mayflower Street to enhance north-south connectivity
  • dramatically improved café seating areas
  • attractive places to stop and rest for everyone
  • refurbished Braille Garden and new stepped amphitheatre space for smaller scale performance
  • new running water feature with sustainable drainage and biodiversity at its heart
  • linear tree pits and replacing broken paving at the Piazza
  • refurbishing the Sundial and its setting

The new look for Armada Way will also take into account the prospect of climate change with the introduction of plants and trees that are more resilient to an urban environment.

Beneath the ground there will be a new ‘Sustainable Urban Drainage’ (SUDs) system that will form part of a wider strategic network in the city centre.

The system includes ‘rain gardens’ and swales which integrate the drainage system with the new planting to make the best use of surface water. 

Construction materials have been selected for long-term robustness and durability and the intention is to reuse some of the existing materials from Armada Way, including the original granite kerbs and setts, to reduce the carbon footprint of hard surfacing.

Cabinet Member for Transport Councillor Jonathan Drean said: “This is one of the key regeneration projects that we have had on the cards for some time. We have secured significant funding from the Government to carry out the work and want to clear the area of clutter and create spectacular views to the waterfront.

“City centres are changing, habits are changing. We want this part of the city centre to come to life again, to be somewhere families play or people meet up.

“At the moment, large tracts of Armada Way are not really used, with some of the more hidden areas attracting street drinkers. If we are serious about encouraging investment and people back into the city to live as well as work and shop, we need to make it more attractive.”

The work is not expected to start in full until early next year, although there will be some site clearance in the Autumn.

Because of slippage in timetables as well as delays in the supply chain, some of the work will cross over with the tail end of the Old Town Street/New George Street improvement schemes. The Council will be working closely with contractors and retailers to reduce disruption to the public as far as possible.

The decision is being taken under delegated authority and the contractor is being procured via the SCAPE framework.

This pre-construction phase includes working up the detailed design involving architecture and landscape architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering services as well as civil and structural engineering services and ecological and arboriculture specialists. These are expected to cost in region of £447,700.  

For more pictures of the scheme visit Armada Way views from the top.