It's not an archaeological artefact – but people still care about Stevenage's modern mosaic
PUBLISHED: 18:51 21 February 2017 | UPDATED: 18:57 21 February 2017
It may not quite be a classic mosaic like those in ancient Rome but some in Stevenage were still concerned yesterday when they saw the tessellated pavement in the centre of town being dug up.
Workmen began pulling up the hexagonal tiles that make up the decorated pavement outside the Westgate shopping centre and stacking them in piles, leaving some to speculate that the mosaic might be dumped.
Jeremy Williams posted on Stevenage Borough Council’s Facebook page: “The mosaic has been brutally dug up, what will happen to it? Relaid or dumped in a skip like the Longship mural?”
But in fact the pavement – which was dedicated in 2000 to ‘the communities of Stevenage’ and bears the name ‘pride in our town’ – is being removed as part of a series of measures to smarten up the town centre being introduced by the council.
The plan is that new paving, new granite benches and new trees will be installed throughout the town centre to brighten it up.
The council says the mosaic itself is being held in storage.
But many on social media were still not placated, with some insisting the town centre needs much greater improvements which have been long delayed.
One posted: “Town centre, it’s so old fashioned, so 1960s with horrible cheap shops, no style at all.”
Much bigger plans are in the offing however.
The council’s makeover is just part of a much more ambitious project to regenerate the whole town centre, the first stage of which involves creating a new theatre space, library and civic buildings, new flats and shops in the Town Square area of town known as SG1. The council is currently working with the Stevenage First partnership to plan the scheme, the first stage of which is set to go on the market in April.
This despite fierce opposition from the town’s MP Stephen McPartland who says no government funds for the scheme will be released unless new plans are drawn up under his guidance which focus more on shops rather than flats and civic amenities.