SALISBURY needs to get ready for change, according to county and city leaders who have unveiled ambitious plans for the city centre’s retail, cultural and night-time economy.

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Councillor Philip Whitehead, said: “We are looking at how we provide a clear pathway towards delivering an exciting and vibrant city centre.”

He was speaking at a presentation to more than 200 guests at the City Hall, who had the chance to see how the new look city will appear. The plan will depend on Salisbury getting cash from the government under its Future High Streets bid to be submitted in June, plus other funds the council believes it can access.

And, as part of the proposals, a new project team will be created.

Named Salisbury Place Board, it will be tasked with helping the city to “thrive” by transforming it into a more vibrant and cultural place for locals to enjoy, and visitors to escape to.

Salisbury Journal: One of the projects to improve Fisherton StreetOne of the projects to improve Fisherton Street

The group will be made up of a collection of local representatives, including both the city and county councils, Salisbury Cathedral, business leaders, and members of the private sector. It will be chaired by city MP John Glen.

Councillor Whitehead said the group would be built on five main “pillars” which would work on projects to transform Salisbury.

He added: “The projects will range from redesigning Fisherton Street to the station forecourt, to look at a new shopfront to the city to the new artisan, affordable workspace and heritage living.

“And to encourage more young people to live in the city, to experience the city and come and visit the city and support new tourist attractions including Illuminated Salisbury, which is a project which we are working on launching later this year.”

The council, which has been working with partners across Salisbury, is confident it can now push ahead with the plans – including an announcement soon on the Maltings development.

Salisbury Journal: The board wants to bring more events to the city, such as the Antiques RoadshowThe board wants to bring more events to the city, such as the Antiques Roadshow

Speaking a day before Cllr Whitehead during a meeting on Monday night, Wiltshire Council’s interim Salisbury Recovery director Tom Dobrashian said: “Unless we work together, Salisbury will not thrive as a place to visit or live.”

Mr Dobrashian also confirmed the group would look to achieve an array of goals, which included: Creating people-friendly streets, with an emphasis on pedestrians, more cycleways and a reduction of access by private car; Improving open space and environment; Enhancing and redeveloping land around Salisbury railway station; Efficiently using of vacant upper floors in the city centre – for bars, craft workshops, pop-up ale houses and more residential use; Enticing more young people to settle in the city.

He also confirmed that each of the five pillars the group will be tasked with looking at will then be ‘led’ by a different organisation, which will look to focus and shape the scope and remit of each section.

However, Mr Dobrashian added: “It is not a decision making body. The different bodies [Wiltshire/Salisbury councils] will still make their own decisions [based off the recommendations they receive].”

A dedicated website for the Place Board will be up-and-running within the next two months.

The plans can be viewed at Fisherton Street’s United Reformed Church from 2.30-7pm on Jan 29.