On the right track in Skipton

Client: Craven District Council

On the map: Skipton, Yorkshire, UK

Values: Community, Urban Enhancement

Status: In progress

The studio worked with Allies and Morrison to develop a 12 hectare masterplan to transform the area surrounding Skipton Railway Station.

Central to the studio's collaboration with Allies and Morrison was a shared desire to improve the lives of people in Skipton. We set out to create a masterplan that reflected the community's distinct personality, needs and ambitions.

We began with a programme of community engagement to get to know the people we were designing for. This also gave us the opportunity to discover the history, stories and myths that made the site unique. At every stage, we worked closely with local planners, politicians and officials to understand their long-term vision for the area. Armed with this knowledge, we developed a plan that combined a positive response to the town's industrial heritage with an optimistic vision for its future.

Out of our engagement several priorities emerged: to make Skipton a place of choice for young people and new business; to build affordable homes for locals, and tackle the climate emergency. Based on these broad objectives, our masterplan aims to create healthier, happier and more productive connections across every aspect of daily life.

To achieve this objective, our designs focus on three core themes. First, capitalising on Skipton's outstanding historic waterways by reorienting the town toward its water assets - making them the principal focus for activity, investment and innovation. Second, connecting places together. We devised a movement strategy to consider the main modes of transport - walking, cycling, public transport and private car - to identify where improvements can be made. Third, supporting the local economy by repurposing several high profile and underused potential development sites to help deliver new homes and jobs, and provide new business opportunities.