31/07/2023 - Permalink

Oswestry: what’s the latest? An update from the Future Oswestry Group

Related topics: Community / Economic growth / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

The Future Oswestry Group (FOG) is committed to keeping local people and businesses informed about what’s going on in Oswestry, in terms of public spaces, future developments, roads and highways, and projects that will enhance everyday life.

The group is comprised of representatives from Shropshire Council, Oswestry Town Council, Oswestry BID (Business Improvement District) and members of the community, and was set up in 2020 to help deliver activities and projects that will benefit the town, its residents, and its businesses.

Read more about the partnership and some of its projects.

Progress updates as of today (Monday 31 July 2023) include:-

Church Street enhancements

A final scheme for Church Street has been agreed by the FOG. Read more to find out what the scheme plans to deliver.

Temporary bollards on Church Street, Oswestry

Church Street, Oswestry


Cross Street works

Works were undertaken in Cross Street earlier this month, by contractors working on behalf of Openreach, and upon completion they have carried out a temporary reinstatement of the site.

A statement about the works can be found here.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)

There were 82 comments relating to Oswestry, in response of the draft LCWIP consultation that took place during May-June. The full results are still being analysed, but early headline results are as follows.

People were asked what their top concerns were when walking around Oswestry and Gobowen. The top three concerns were:

  • Poorly maintained footways and road surfaces (49% of respondents)
  • Lack of footways (41% of respondents)
  • Traffic is too fast (39% of respondents).

People were also asked what their top concerns were when cycling around Oswestry and Gobowen. The top three concerns were:

  • Lack of direct cycle routes and crossing points (48% of respondents)
  • Traffic is too fast (40% of respondents)
  • Poorly maintained cycleways and road surfaces (33% of respondents).

The draft LCWIP contained eight schemes for improving the walking environment around Gobowen train station, and 12 schemes for improving the walking environment around the Oswestry town centre. People were asked whether they agreed with the walking schemes – 38% agreed, 32% disagreed and 30% were unsure.

Many people provided written feedback on the following issues:-

  • The need for a cycle and pedestrian facility linking Treflach and Trefonen with Oswestry.
  • Utilisation of the former railway corridor between Oswestry and Gobowen as a shared use walking and cycling facility (note that an investigation is currently underway for the restoration of the former rail corridor for light rail).
  • No cycling in Cae Glas Park.
  • More secure cycle parking needed.
  • Better walking and cycling links to and from villages.

Schools were also invited to participate in an online consultation event where they were asked to identify their concerns when walking and cycling. Surveys were also sent home to parents/carers of primary school aged students. Seven Oswestry schools participated in this event. Results are pending.

The draft LCWIP is due to go to Cabinet in October, with a recommendation to adopt it.

High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) scheme

In the last few weeks, shop fronts have been fitted at 5-9 Cross Street.

A new timber shop front has replaced the old aluminium shop front that was there before. The shop front is reminiscent of what would have been there originally.

HSHAZ is really pleased to have been able to support the redevelopment of 5-9 Cross Street. The scheme has added nine new accommodation units, refurbished Nightingales, and created a new shop unit. 

Shop and flats at 5-9 Cross Street, Oswestry

5-9 Cross Street, Oswestry

Cambrian Heritage Railway

Shropshire Council have been carrying out repairs to Cambrian Heritage Railways’ Old Station Building following storm damage, which required full scaffolding to be installed.

Unfortunately, these works have uncovered unforeseen further issues which require investigations and repairs, which we hope to complete as soon as possible.

The current scaffolding must remain in place for public safety, and to allow access to the building’s roof, until the work has been completed. 

Summer of Art

Oswestry’s Cultural Consortium has launched a “Summer of Art” festival taking inspiration from the 2023 Heritage Open Days theme – ‘Creativity Unwrapped’.

Summer of Art festival in Oswestry poster

Summer of Art festival in Oswestry

The centrepiece is “ART-efact”, led by local artist Holly Maries. This project has commissioned four local artists to use Oswestry Town Archives and Oswestry Town Museum to inspire their art and culminates in a two-week exhibition at Cross Market Hall during September’s Heritage Open Days – England’s largest festival of arts and culture.

There are many workshops and exhibitions taking place across town by QubeArt, Designs in Mind and The Willow Gallery, and Stage Five Theatre are running a youth drama programme with Royal Shakespeare Company Associate, Michael Corbidge. Music and theatre is performed throughout the summer at Cae Glas Park, “Culture Fest” will be held at Cross Street on Saturday 9 September, and local historian Sandy Best will host a special walking tour, sharing stories of Oswestry’s poets and authors.

Keep up to date with the Summer of Art via the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LoveOswestryCC