Family Friendly Outdoor Spaces

When creating the Worksop Masterplan, we brought in the expert services of Planning and Development Consultant Timothy Crawshaw. In the seventh of a series of Blogs, he muses how the top of town could be transformed into a family-friendly area for fun and al fresco dining.

If the Town Centre is to become a more attractive place to live, work and visit in the future, the quality of the outdoor spaces is going to be important.

To the south of the Town Centre, the former marketplace provides an ideal opportunity to create a space that compliments the historic buildings that are more prevalent here, showcases the Civic life of the town, and links into the established health and wellbeing services.

Currently the marketplace would benefit from a year-round purpose, and whilst the space is attractively planted with places to sit, it could contribute more to the life of the town. The quality of the space and the surrounding buildings are compromised by the traffic that enters from Potter Street and Westgate and, should it be possible to redirect the traffic, a pedestrianised space could be created that is safer and that could accommodate more events, specialist markets and pavement cafés.

The Old Ship in is an example of a historic building that would be an excellent restaurant venue with space outside for al fresco dining. With additional tree planting, the new market square would be an attractive place to spend time. The artist impression below shows how the space could be transformed, creating a gateway to Bridge Street whilst also allowing traffic movements along Westgate.

The popular Savoy Cinema provides an anchor to the space and establishes the area as a destination for leisure. This is complemented by the proposed expansion of the Health Centre, providing another focus and destination.

In order to establish Worksop as a safe and attractive family friendly destination, linking the attractions of The Canch, the historic assets, the newly established leisure destination and access to Clumber Park is an important consideration. With access to quiet and safe routes to the south of the town into Clumber Park, whilst also being on the proposed improved cycling network, the marketplace would make an ideal cycle hub where bikes could be hired by the hour to explore the town and beyond.

Pedestrianised area

Earlier in this series of blogs we explored the potential for water features to link the town centre assets and spaces together. This could be complemented by creating a ‘playable environment’ close to the town centre with features that provide interest whilst also being stimulating and fun for children. Examples of some of these possibilities can be seen on the Playable City website.

The nature of public spaces can also be transformed by activities such as local food production. Examples such as Incredible Edible Todmorden demonstrate how food growing can be integrated into public spaces, bringing people together and creating a sense of ownership. Elsewhere in the Town Centre there could be opportunities such as community orchards that would transform currently underused spaces.


Timothy Crawshaw (MA MRTPI FRSA) is an International Planning and Development Consultant in the areas of urban design, planning, green infrastructure, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.

With experience in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, alongside an expanding UK practice, he has a specific interest in the role of the nature based approaches to addressing the climate emergency, alongside improving health and wellbeing outcomes and tackling inequality.

Timothy is an experienced lecturer, trainer and facilitator with a passion for community development, and he continues to champion the role of planning as a key part of the solution to the challenges of our times. Timothy is currently the Chair of the Tees Valley Nature Partnership and of the Historic Towns and Villages Forum and will be the Vice President of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2021.

Last Updated on Wednesday, January 10, 2024