A CREATIVE workshop and storytelling event aimed to find imaginative ways to shape the future of Basingstoke town centre.

Hosted in The Malls, the workshops were part of the EU-supported project RetaiLink.

On Saturday, 2 June children from around the borough came up with creative ideas for their town centre of the future including rockets, slides, water parks and an arcade.

Their vision was then turned into a state-of-the-art design by artist, Liam Kelleher.

During the event children were also entertained during creative storytelling sessions hosted in Scratch Built Production’s Shed of Stories.

The project, which is funded by network funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the URBACT programme came to the town courtesy of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, working in partnership with Festival Place, Basingstoke Together Business Improvement District and The Malls.

Deputy leader and cabinet member responsible for the town centre programme at the borough council, Cllr Terri Reid said: “The imaginative designs for the future of the town centre really shows the creativity of the young people we have across the borough and it was good to see their vision brought to life.

“The town centre is the heart of Basingstoke and we want to work with residents and visitors to make it even better.

“It has been great to work with our partners across nine other European cities as part of the RetaiLink project. This has allowed us to share knowledge and expertise to give the Town Centre Programme a real boost.”

As part of RetaiLink, the council worked with nine other medium-sized European cities to explore and develop strategies to revitalise town centres and support the retail sector and to help enhance the council’s Town Centre Programme.

Launched in 2013, the council programme, which aims to make Basingstoke’s town centre a destination recognised for the quality of its experience and of its retail, cultural and leisure offer, will benefit from the knowledge shared by other European cities