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Help name Didcot’s new Orchard Centre square

Residents could become a part of Didcot history by suggesting the name of the new public square in the extension of the Orchard Centre.

South Oxfordshire District Council and developers, Hammerson are working with Didcot Town Council to give residents the opportunity to send in their suggestions ready to decide the name the new town square.

They’re inviting residents to suggest names that have a historical connection to Didcot or potentially a futuristic name in recognition of the ground-breaking science and technology happening in the local Science Vale. Names could also relate to notable people, buildings associated with the town.

The new town square, which connects the extension to the existing centre and Broadway, will offer an enhanced leisure and dining area, with Nando’s and Costa Coffee already signed-up, and more names due to be announced shortly.

The brand-new restaurants and cafés offer alfresco dining options and a space for outdoor community events and markets alongside the new stores including Marks and Spencer Food Hall, H&M, Boots, River Island, TK Maxx and Starbucks.

The Orchard Centre took its name because the land was once an apple orchard and an apple peel swirl art sculpture was installed in 2014. The competition organisers want the new square to have an inspirational name that stands the test of time.

Tony Harbour, Cabinet member for Didcot Garden Town at South Oxfordshire District Council, said, “This is an excellent opportunity for residents to get involved and name an important part of the expansion for future generations. The new square will be at the heart of the town, providing an important pedestrian link between new shops and the independent shops on Broadway.”

Jackie Billington, Mayor of Didcot, said, “This is a wonderful chance for a local resident to have the honour of naming the new square connecting the new development to the existing Orchard Centre. I am hoping that there will be lots of interest from both young and old, and I look forward to sitting on the judging panel.”

Thomas Cochrane, Development Manager at Hammerson said, “We are delighted to be able to take part in this competition to mark the first phase of shops opening at the Orchard Centre expansion. We look forward to finding a name for the new square that celebrates Didcot and what makes the town special.”

People can enter their suggestion via survey.southandvale.gov.uk/s/OrchardCentreSquare with entries accepted until 5pm on 20 April 2018. The winning name will be chosen from a panel of judges for its originality and local relevance by representatives from South Oxfordshire District Council, Hammerson and Didcot Town Council.