Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) is delighted to announce the launch of Aylesbury town centre’s latest development, The Exchange, which opened to the public on Friday 8 March.
A stunning new public space featuring unique and inspiring contemporary artwork for both residents and visitors to enjoy, The Exchange provides a beautiful outdoor setting for Aylesbury town centre’s first purpose-built mixed restaurant, commercial and residential development.
The Exchange has been positioned to reflect how modern town centres are changing to meet an increased demand for more leisure dining and town centre homes, and it will shortly offer four fantastic new restaurants with 47 one and two-bedroom apartments above – that have been built by AVDC’s development partner Durkan.
The public square was conceived by landscape architecture firm Bradley Murphy Design (BMD), following extensive stakeholder consultation. The space has been designed to be fully accessible; featuring gentle slopes for people using pushchairs, wheelchairs or other mobility aids and offers a mix of formal and informal seating areas, some of which incorporate mobile device charging points. Three new thought-provoking sculptures by artist Colin Spofforth inject character and colour into the design and are complemented with a series of inspiring quotes, sourced from the local community, that are woven into the street furniture, tree grilles and paving designed by artist Chris Brammall.
As well as being a destination in its own right, The Exchange square provides an attractive, easy to navigate, pedestrian route between the town centre and attractions such as the Waterside Theatre, University Campus Aylesbury Vale, Bucks New University and the canal basin.
The first restaurant to open at The Exchange will be Rococo Lounge, which will serve its first customers on Wednesday 3 April. Part of The Lounges group, The Rococo Lounge will be a retro-inspired cosy retreat, where eclectic artwork and quirky curios sit next to oversized vintage sofas and old-school benches, strikingly painted table tops and statement lighting. Particular attention will be paid to families - who will be able to take advantage of a fine selection of games and books, colouring pencils and pads, a full menu just for Little Loungers and high chairs and baby-change facilities.
Agnes Bridges, Operations Manager, The Lounges, said:
“We’re really looking forward to throwing open the doors at Rococo Lounge and showing local people how to lounge in style. The team are looking forward to becoming part of the community and will support local groups and initiatives wherever possible.”
The launch event for The Exchange featured breathtaking street entertainment and some fantastic performances from local dance school, Aylesbury Performing Arts Centre, and singer, Holly Jones. The event also unveiled for the very first time the bespoke artworks which bring added character and inspiration to the new public space.
Angela Macpherson, Leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council said:
“I’m thrilled to have been at the launch of The Exchange and to witness the opening of the much-anticipated public space. I’m also looking forward to visiting the fantastic new restaurants when they open their doors in the very near future. Aylesbury town centre is rapidly transforming into a vibrant destination for residents, businesses, workers and visitors alike, and The Exchange development has been central to our plans for this ongoing regeneration.”
Hilary Chipping, SEMLEP’s Chief Executive, said:
“SEMLEP is pleased to provide £3.3m of Local Growth Fund investment for this town centre development which will change the way in which people visit and enjoy Aylesbury. Formally opened with the unveiling of the public art, The Exchange will provide over 40 apartments, space for four restaurants and a stunning new public square where people can sit and relax as well as enjoy the thought-provoking sculpture.”
For more information on The Exchange, please visit: https://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/exchange