Windsor community to shape compelling vision for royal town

Vision for Windsor

The Windsor community will be invited to shape a compelling vision for how they’d like their royal town to evolve over the next 20-plus years, under an exciting new engagement project by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

The council will work with the Prince’s Foundation charity to engage and empower residents, community groups, businesses and other partners to collaborate and reach a shared view of where Windsor should be heading as a distinctive and sustainable place to live, work, spend leisure time and do business. 

The resulting “Vision for Windsor Charter” will complement existing and recently-agreed plans, including the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan, Corporate Plan, Borough Local Plan, and Environment and Climate Strategy, to help guide future decisions of the council and potentially a range of partners.

The engagement activity will include a series of workshops, during the summer and autumn, to further understand and explore Windsor’s current and emerging opportunities, strengths and constraints, alongside people’s priorities and aspirations for the place. Details of how to get involved will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said: “In recent years, a key priority has been, quite rightly, the much-needed regeneration of Maidenhead town centre, which is now well underway and supported by the new Maidenhead Vision Charter and significant public and private investment.

“Windsor has a timeless quality in some respects, but all places are always changing. In the wake of the economic challenges brought by Covid, and with Windsor at the heart of this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the time feels right to engage and empower the community around the future of Windsor and how they’d like to see it evolve as a high quality, sustainable and distinctive place. 
“We already have a number of strategic plans relating to Windsor. We look forward to bringing these together, alongside further exploring what matters most to the community, to create a cohesive, shared and positive vision for our royal town, one that’s owned by the community and captures aspirations for maximising Windsor’s fabulous assets, strengths and future opportunities, while addressing its challenges.” 

Councillor Samantha Rayner, deputy council leader and cabinet member for business, corporate & residents services, culture & heritage, and Windsor, said: “Windsor has so many rich and interwoven strands, whether that be its enduring royal connections and the castle, the river, tourism, retail, night-time economy, housing, sports, education and the community itself. 

“We want to put the community in charge of shaping a genuinely collaborative vision that reflects this diversity and heritage as part of a coherent narrative for the future, a vision which everyone has the chance to shape and captures effectively what is going well in the town, what we’d like to change and what we’d like to keep and take forward.

“It’s most fitting and exciting that we’re working with the Prince’s Foundation, which has significant experience of working with and bringing together communities and partners around their aspirations for places, and I look forward to the whole community getting involved in this historic next step for the future of Windsor.”

Aaron Davis, executive director at the Prince’s Foundation, said: “The Prince’s Foundation is excited to be working with the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead to develop a vision for Windsor. This project will seek to understand the changes that have taken place in Windsor as a result of recent events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, and consider opportunities for its long-term evolution.

“To carry out this work, our team from the Prince’s Foundation will be implementing an enquiry-by-design process over the next nine months. The aim is to bring together stakeholders, community reps and residents for a series of workshops expected to take place later on this year.”