Gorse Ride Regeneration Road Naming Themes Announced

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With the next phase of Wokingham Borough Council’s Gorse Ride affordable housing regeneration underway in Finchampstead, attention has started to turn to naming the four new roads and five apartment blocks which will be built as part of the scheme.

To ensure local residents had the opportunity to get involved, local schools were challenged to submit ideas for themes in a road naming competition. The themes needed to link to the local area, its landmarks or concepts which were important to young people such as climate emergency.

A community panel shortlisted the ideas down to three and local residents of Gorse Ride were invited to vote for their favourite theme. The theme ‘Flowers’ proved the most popular choice, receiving 57% of the vote.

Gorse Ride Regeneration Road Naming – The winning theme

Proposed by Class 6CB at Gorse Ride Junior School, the theme ‘Flowers’ included ideas such as buttercup, sunflower, iris and foxglove. The class received a surprise visit from Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr Caroline Smith and representatives from Wates Residential, appointed contractor for the regeneration, who announced they had won the road naming competition. The Mayor presented the pupils from Class 6CB with shopping vouchers and congratulatory certificates, which were kindly provided by Wates.

Gorse Ride Regeneration Road Naming

Wokingham Borough Mayor, Cllr Caroline Smith said: “Local school children have worked hard and have thought of many inspiring theme suggestions for the Gorse Ride road naming competition. It is a great pleasure to announce Class 6CB at Gorse Ride Junior School as the overall winners. Their wonderful floral ideas captured the community’s imagination as being the kind of names they wanted to see in the regenerated community. Well done to everyone involved, I have enjoyed meeting you all and congratulations to our winners!”

Eileen Rogers, Executive Headteacher at Gorse Ride Junior School said: “With values being at the heart of everything we do at Gorse Ride Schools, including ‘belonging’ and ‘responsibility’, we knew that our children would love the opportunity to be involved in supporting their local community. We were very impressed with their range of imaginative ideas and thrilled to be chosen as the winners. As a school, we are so proud that our children can leave a positive lasting legacy in their local area and they are looking forward to spotting their chosen road names when they are completed.”

Lee Bushell, Operations Director of Wates Residential said: “This initiative marks the start of Wates Residential’s investment in the local Gorse Ride community, which in the next few months will provide jobs, apprenticeships, work experience opportunities and a pre-employment programme. We will also be continuing our links to local schools with an art hoarding competition, with the selected entries to be displayed on site hoardings from early 2023.”

Now that the theme of ‘Flowers’ has been chosen for the future road names at Gorse Ride, the council will start the process of discussing the ideas with Royal Mail before agreeing a final list of road and apartment names for the scheme.

About the regeneration

The regeneration of Gorse Ride is one of the council’s flagship housing projects and will see 249 new modern homes built on the site, a massive 74% of which will be affordable homes to meet growing local demand. The phased regeneration will take place over a number of years, transforming the community into a place local people can be proud of.

The new homes are designed to be energy efficient to address the council’s climate emergency and tackle fuel poverty across the borough by bringing down the costs of heating and powering homes. This includes high levels of insulation and low carbon innovations such as air source heat pumps.

The council will continue to work closely with the local community throughout the second phase of the regeneration to make sure people can relocate as smoothly as possible and new properties can be delivered with as little disruption as possible.