CIVIC chiefs have taken a step closer to getting improvements at Winchester Bus Station after appointing two firms to the project.

Winchester City Council has appointed Carl Turner Architects (CTA) and Winchester-based creative Worthwhile Works to carry out a feasibility study into the short-term options for the unused section of the site.

It has been identified as an area that could be used for ‘meanwhile uses’ before the start of wider regeneration work of the Saxon Gate (commonly known as Silver Hill 2) area.

Cllr Caroline Brook, chairman of the council’s Meanwhile Uses Advisory Panel, said: “The exciting project to create meanwhile use of an unused area of the bus station is an integral part in the Saxon Gate project and the feasibility study to ensure any work done on the site is achievable and sustainable, is a key step forward in this project.

“The detailed proposal that Carl Turner Architects (CTA) and Worthwhile Works put forward met many aspects of our brief and we are looking forward to taking the first steps to investigate what can be done in the bus station location.”

Plans have been floated by the city council to turn the space into a hub for food and retail pop-up businesses, similar to those in York and London.

The bus station will eventually be vacated by the buses, which, according to the scheme’s supplementary planning document, could relocate to the Middle Brook Street car park.

Architect Carl Turner said: “Winchester is full of rich history and exciting possibilities for the future. We are looking forward to exploring the potential of this historical site to ensure any work carried out will benefit everyone.”

Wendy Wyatt, of Worthwhile Works, added: “As well as incredible heritage, Winchester is full of talent – incredible food producers, a world class art school, a thriving arts scene and an abundance of creative businesses. We want to explore how we can help Winchester’s community to further encourage participation, wellbeing and growth.”