Young people in Hatfield have a unique opportunity to be part of local history as a contractor is appointed for the £1.2m transformation of White Lion Square, funded by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's Cabinet awarded a contract to St Albans based Borras Construction at their meeting last night (Tuesday, 4 December) and is asking local schools or youth groups to get in touch about making items for a time capsule. The capsule will be buried in a raised planter when the work starts in January and it is hoped an unearthing in 2030 will give an insight into how today's young people see Hatfield more than a decade on.

The £1.2m redesign, which aims to boost footfall to shops and businesses and create a more welcoming environment for visitors, is funded through a Local Growth Fund contribution from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), as part of a wider £6m LEP investment towards the regeneration of Hatfield town centre.  

The work includes the installation of new paving, seating, raised planters, children's play equipment, cycle parking and the iconic Pearl statue - back by popular demand following a public poll last year.

Cabinet also appointed Bourne Parking at the meeting to develop designs for a multi-storey car park, planned to make more space available in the town for future redevelopment. Part of the Hatfield 2030+ renewal framework, this is a vital next step in progressing larger regeneration plans for new homes, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. 

The council's cross-party procurement boards made the recommendations to appoint Borras and Bourne, following competitive tender processes.

Cllr Duncan Bell, Executive Member for Resources at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said: "Each milestone brings us one step closer to seeing our exciting and ambitious plans for Hatfield come to life. We're embarking on work that will have a lasting impact for generations to come and wanted to inspire young people to think about the Hatfield of 2030, today."

The Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, said: "This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future. Our High Streets are at the heart of our communities so I'm pleased to see £1.2 million from the Local Growth Fund invested in the redevelopment of White Lion Square in Hatfield town centre. This project will increase visitors, help local businesses to thrive and boost economic growth in the area."

Adam Wood, Head of Infrastructure at Hertfordshire LEP, said: "Revitalising our places for the 21st century is one of our key strategic priorities. Our investment will inject new vibrancy into Hatfield town centre for the benefit of residents for years to come, and we are keen to engage young people in the process."

Local schools and youth groups can get involved by emailing: propertydevelopment@welhat.gov.uk 

For more information visit www.hatfield2030.co.uk.