Market Square umbrellas

Dover rings the changes with £3.6m public realm investment

A revamp of Dover’s Market Square officially opened today (9 August 2022) following a £3.6m programme of public realm improvements to create a modern and welcoming focal point for residents and visitors alike.

The centrepiece of the new-look Market Square is a unique walk-through water feature. Four striking steel rings incorporate a misting feature creating a fun space for children to play and for everyone to cool-off this summer! 

Improved seating, a raised terrace and a feature lighting display provide space to host events and for people to meet throughout the day and into the evening whilst taking in skyline views of Dover Castle.

Wide paved areas have been designed so that cafes and pubs can offer alfresco dining, whilst new trees to be planted this autumn will provide shade and bring colour and textures to the Market Square throughout the year.

A public celebration and grand opening of the new Market Square is planned for Saturday, 20 August with free entertainment for all the family organised by Destination Dover and the Dover Town Team.

The original idea for the improvements to the Market Square came from the Dover Town Team which represents town centre traders. Supported by Dover District Council and Dover Town Council, the Team submitted a £2.44m bid to the government’s Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).  The Fund supports economic development projects in coastal areas across the UK.

The works were supported by Kent County Council as the highways authority and undertaken by Kent-based, FM Conway Limited.

John Angell, Chairman of the Dover Town Team, said: “We’re delighted to see the revamped Market Square open, bringing a fresh new look to the town centre. Local traders set out to create a modern and playful attraction which draws people into Dover’s traditional shopping precinct from St James and the waterfront. We hope local people will enjoy the space and continue to support local traders.”

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “This striking new space brings vibrancy to the town centre. It’s another visible sign of Dover’s transformation as we continue to see new investment. There’s still a way to go, but from the Clocktower Square on the seafront, to the Market Square, and the soon to start restoration of the Grade I Listed Maison Dieu, we’re creating exciting new public spaces for local people and visitors to the town.”  

Cllr Gordon Gowan, the Right Worshipful Town Mayor of Dover, said: “We hope the scheme will very much help the community and visitors to our town connect St James with the existing town with the hope it will encourage new business into the centre of Dover.  It also means we can have many more activities and events in the Market Square.”

Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “Attracting more people to visit and shop in Dover is crucial for its prosperity and I am glad KCC has helped to realise that ambition by creating this focal point. This fantastic space will make it all the easier for public events to be held, further adding to what Kent can offer.”

Market Square children

Posted on 09/08/2022