Parklets for St Neots Market Square

August 22, 2021

New parklet inspired seating and planter units are being installed in St Neots Market Square on Tuesday 17 August.

The bespoke community parklets have been delivered by St Neots Town Council, with funding from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, to complete the Masterplan for Growth’s Street furniture improvements, which also included the recently replaced bus shelters and Cycle hoop bike racks.

The limited outdoor space available to many surrounding businesses has caused challenges since the Coronavirus pandemic, due to the increase in demand for outdoor seating. The temporary pedestrianisation of the Market Square has also provided a unique opportunity to utilise public realm space, providing a pleasant, traffic free zone for town centre users to enjoy.

Huntingdonshire based company, Korten were commissioned to design and manufacture the parklets for this project. Korten specialise in exhibition stands and since the start of the pandemic, they have diversified to include the construction of environmentally friendly glamping pods and shelters, using sustainably sourced timber. The St Neots parklets are constructed from Red Grandis, a versatile, high performing and FSC® 100% certified uniform hardwood timber. The seating units will be completed with evergreen box plants, housed in the integrated planters. Removable parasols will also be added for markets and events held in the Square.

The parklets will remain in situ until at least March 2022, when the temporary pedestrianisation of the area is due to come to an end, at which point they will be relocated to another town centre location for continued enjoyment.

Cllr Stephen Ferguson, Mayor of St Neots, said: “My ambition is to return Market Square to its rightful place as the cultural and economic heart of our community, and we are already seeing a thriving café culture starting to form since the car parking was removed. These parklets go some way to furthering that ambition, by providing a comfortable, shaded place to just and chill while watching the world go by. I’m looking to spending many a happy hour hanging out in Market Square.”

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough said: “I’m a bit biased because I live nearby but St Neots is a fantastic market town and creating this pleasant community space, linked to public transport, active travel, fresh air, and people mingling in the town-centre and doing local shopping, is absolutely what funding the masterplans intended to
achieve, in St Neots and in the other ten market towns across Cambridgeshire.

“Public health is strongly linked to our sense of wellbeing out and about in our community and St Neots is spot on, designing an area around human beings, not just around cars.”

Mark Starling, Managing Director of Korten said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to provide our design and manufacturing skills, working with St Neots Town Council on their exciting project for the Market Square.”