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March 17, 2021

Jaywick Market Consultation

We are running a survey with Tendring District Council to find out what residents of Jaywick Sands think about our ideas for new business space, covered market and a community garden in the heart of their community and are particularly interested in hearing from people who may be interested in renting a space.

This exciting new project has been awarded central government funding, to bring businesses and jobs into Jaywick Sands, and to improve the public open space on the former Sunspot and market site between Brooklands and the Village. HAT are working with Tendring District Council and operator Colbea on the project, which should open in mid 2022.

We want everyone to be involved in developing these exciting plans with us - so please follow the link to complete the survey before 9th April 2021 - we will feed back what we have learnt to you after that.

More information on the project is available here.

February 17, 2021

St Nicholas Square Survey and Webinar

HAT have produced an online survey running from 15 February to 19 March 2021 on behalf of Colchester Borough Council asking residents for their views on designs for an exciting new public space at St Nicholas Square in the town centre. Funding from central government's Town Deal has been awarded to CBC, enabling this important but neglected public space to be improved.

We have been working with local businesses, councillors and representatives from different user groups to develop a design that achieves the project’s ambitions and is both practical and beautiful. We now really want to hear what the wider community thinks - and we'll then be refining the designs in response to feedback.

We are also holding a community webinar at 6pm, 2 March 2021, where you can ask any questions you have about the project. Full details are on the final page of the survey.

St Nicholas Square is a wonderful historic space but it has not been used to its full potential for some time - so we are excited to help it become a vibrant space for the future. We expect the project to start on site in late Spring 2021 and be completed a few months later.

Councillor David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources at CBC said: "I am looking forward to the opportunity to present initial plans for what promises to be a very exciting new public space. This investment will be a real boost for local retail and hospitality businesses and I am extremely pleased work on this project is moving forward.

"I would encourage local stakeholders and interested parties to join the webinar to hear more about the proposal for a safe and vibrant social hub in the heart of our town centre."

February 9, 2021

Hana attains RTPI Chartered Town Planner status

Director Hana Loftus is now a chartered town planner (MRTPI) having qualified through the Experienced Practitioner route offered by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The Experienced Practitioner route recognises the significant planning experience that practitioners from different academic backgrounds can have. We are delighted that Hana’s expertise in planning, community engagement and policy has been recognised and look forward to helping our clients and partners with their further planning requirements.

February 4, 2021

Jaywick Market & Workspace

HAT have been engaged by Tendring District Council to deliver an ambitious £1.2m Jaywick Sands Market & Workspace, having previously been commissioned to undertake a feasibility and business case for the project, as well as support in the successful SELEP funding bid in 2020.

The market and commercial workspace facility will create new affordable commercial units ranging from kiosks to large workshop units suitable for light manufacturing; covered and open air market space; a community garden and other public realm improvements on a seafront site in the heart of the community which has been derelict for a number of years.

Paul Honeywood, TDC Cabinet Member with special responsibility for Jaywick Sands, said he was excited to see the plans coming forward.

“The site is such a key location to the Brooklands and Grasslands area of Jaywick Sands, acting as a gateway to those communities, so it is important that the project is a real landmark,” Councillor Honeywood said.

“I am pleased to welcome HAT Projects on board, knowing that their experience and previous work in Jaywick Sands in particular, will really benefit this scheme and drive it forward.”

Hana Loftus added: “Jaywick Sands is such a brilliant place to work in due to the energy in the community and the desire to work together to improve things.

“We are excited to be involved in this project to deliver something which will be a real benefit to local residents.”

January 28, 2021

Science Museum Smith Centre shortlisted for AJ Retrofit Awards

We are delighted to announce that the Science Museum Smith Centre has been shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2021. The awards, created by the Architects' Journal, recognise "well-designed, sustainable projects and promote material and structural reuse in the built environment."

The Smith Centre was created by HAT Projects from a series of existing disused 19th and early 20th century structures that were previously unconnected to the Museum, neglected and semi-derelict in parts, we successfully transformed them into a generous and inviting series of spaces for events as well as informal use by the Museum's patrons and trustees - well integrated into the Museum, and with a distinctive, salon-like character.

Included in the Cultural and Religious Buildings category, the winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on 24th February. The full shortlist is available here.

December 9, 2020

Jaywick Workspace wins funding

We're really pleased that the Jaywick Sands Workspace project has now been awarded significant capital funding from the Getting Building Fund and will be moving forwards towards delivery in the new year.

HAT undertook the market demand study, developed the business model and produced a feasibility study, as well as early design studies for the project, having previously been involved in a number of other projects in the community.

The £2m market and commercial workspace facility will create new affordable commercial units ranging from kiosks to large workshop units suitable for light manufacturing; covered and open air market space; a community garden and other public realm improvements on a seafront site in the heart of the community which has been derelict for a number of years.

November 9, 2020

Colchester Town Investment Plan

Several of our projects have been included in Colchester's Town Deal funding bid - an ambitious plan for up to £25m of Government funding to be invested in Colchester post-Covid to help transform the town.

We are very happy that £1m of advance funding has already been secured for the improvements to St Nicholas Square we have already started work on, and further funding has been requested for the development of our proposals at Balkerne Gate, Holy Trinity Square and the implementation of kerbless and green streets within the town.

The Town Deal bid was developed in consultation with a wide range of businesses and with surveys interviewing hundreds of local residents about their priorities. Colchester's lead councillor for business, David King, commented that "Residents want the town to be made more attractive and for improvements to be made to infrastructure. The projects We Are Colchester have submitted to the Government address these issues. With the help of other investors, we can make a huge difference to residents and help businesses and those they employ at this difficult time to have confidence in Colchester's future, as a great place to live, work and visit."

The full plan is available to read here.

November 5, 2020

Indies Route

The vision and strategy we developed for the Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) is now going to be implemented with funding from Colchester Borough Council, among other sources.

Projects from our strategy that the BID aim to deliver in the next 12 months include specially commissioned new street signage artworks at key sites along the main independent shopping streets, from Crouch Street through Sir Isaac's Walk and Eld Lane onto Queen Street, and 'Lighting the Lanes' - a lighting installation project to make it feel more welcoming at all times of day and night.

Now more than ever, the 'shop local' message should be encouraged, and we recommended that local designers, makers, suppliers and fabricators should be commissioned to realise these ideas, in line with the remit of supporting and showcasing the independent sector in the town. We are excited to see the BID take these ideas forward, helping our fellow businesses to make the most of 2021 after this challenging year.

Our full report is available to view here.