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BAM Construction appointed to build Hull Venue

Hull City Council has appointed BAM Construction to build a new music, events and conference centre in the city. Plans for the £36.2m venue are integral

to Hull's legacy planning following its year as UK City of Culture 2017. The centre will include a 3,500 capacity concert auditorium, with the flexibility to reduce to a 2,500 all-seated event and a 2,000sq m exhibition space, plus an 800 capacity conference auditorium. A revised planning application for the

venue was submitted to Hull City Council's Planning Committee in December, addressing concerns raised by the committee earlier in the month when its

members refused an initial application. The revised plans will be considered again by the committee early in February. Detailed feasibility studies and market

testing show that the facility will inject £13.5m into Hull’s economy annually. Hull City Council has committed £36.2m

towards the cost of building the complex on the site behind Princes Quay shopping centre, where new retail facilities and a hotel are proposed. The investment will also modernise the adjacent Osborne Street car park. "I am absolutely committed to this

landmark project, which is critical to the development of the city and our plans to

make Hull a world-class visitor destination,” said Stephen Brady, leader of the council. "We will formally hand over the City of

Culture title to another city in 2020, but this development will allow us to continue to attract events capable of delivering a big economic impact beyond that.” If approved by Planning Committee in

February, work on the development will begin later in 2016, with completion scheduled for early 2018.

Urban planners challenged to be more playful

Urban planners have been urged to be more playful when developing neighbourhood regeneration and city centre design. Speaking at the Playing Out conference,

Paul McTernan, from environmental consultancy SLR Consulting, said it was time for a systematic change. “The public realm and open space design

of our neighbourhoods is all too often focused on the needs of adults at the expense of children and young people. It’s just not something we do well in this country,” he said. The event, which was designed to explore

how better design and masterplanning of the public realm can support children’s holistic development, followed an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fit and Healthy Childhood’s report on the need to create environments that promote play opportunities. In his talk, McTernan highlighted best

practice from around the world and set out an approach to develop a better planning policy approach to neighbourhood regeneration and city centre design. Using examples from global cities including; ‘Mi Casa, Your Casa’ art installation in Atlanta and the Machida Kobato Kindergarten, a light-filled playground in Tokyo, Paul 7

demonstrated how design for play can be integrated into the public realm to create engaging environments for children. “The integration of design of play in both a natural and structured way can not only

help to bring outdoor spaces alive but can also help to integrate safe and vibrant communities. We need to ensure that the delivery of play becomes a systematic part of the planning system,” he said.

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