Home > Planning > Regeneration > Market Square

Reinventing Dover's Market Square

Market Square revamp(Image: Design concept for the Market Square)

A major revamp of the Market Square started on Monday, 8 November.  Contractors, FM Conway, are carrying out the works on behalf of Kent County Council and Dover District Council.

See the exhibition boards from the recent 'Meet the Contractor' event to find out more about the project and the various phases of construction:

Construction is expected to take nine months with completion in summer 2022. 

Local residents and businesses in the Market Square and surrounding area will be kept informed about the construction progress with regular newsletters and an exhibition, and can sign-up for regular email alerts with Keep Me Posted (select 'Market Square Dover' from the list of topics). 

For more information, please contact FM Conway’s Public Liaison Officer on 07501 745 430 or email Vikki.costello@fmconway.co.uk or InvestmentAndProjects@dover.gov.uk

Latest project news 

About the Market Square project

Dover District Council is managing a £3.6m project on behalf of the Dover Town Team to improve the Market Square.  The project is funded by a grant of £2.44m from the Coastal Communities Fund and a £1.2m contribution from Dover District Council. Dover Town Council has also contributed to the project.

coastal communities fund logo

The aim of the project is to attract more people to visit and shop in Dover by making the Market Square more welcoming for local residents and creating a focal point for visitors to the town centre.  

The overriding concept was the creation of a paved space that provides the flexibility for events to be held, adding to the attractions that Dover town centre has to offer.  The design was then developed with regard to the natural movement patterns and congregation points in the square to create routes, desire lines and establish the organisation of spaces and activities.

Key design features

  • A paved space for performance where pedestrians can gather and interact, socialise and take in the views out of the Square.  To make the square feel safe part of the square has been raised onto a platform to enable the public to sit comfortably above the traffic to Cannon Street and King Street and take on the views around the square.

  • A water feature located in the centre of the square provides an ornamental feature that enlivens the space, but also creates a focus for children to play and families to congregate.  The water feature will act as a wayfinder that will be unique and recognisable to Dover.

  • Opportunities to sit have been increased with the introduction of more seats and terraced areas, where people can congregate.  Around the Square pedestrian footways are widened next to the buildings to enable open air dining associated with the many businesses cafes and pubs.

  • On the eastern side of the square a line of planting which has been added to introduce greening to Market Square.  This provides some shelter and importantly a variety of colour and textures throughout the year.

  • On King Street the carriageway width has reduced, and parking bays have been removed meaning areas for pedestrians has significantly increased.  Loading bays have been incorporated along King Street in a manner that integrates them into the footway, ensuring pedestrians use them outside loading times.  The result is that King Street changes from a road dominated thoroughfare to a pedestrian friendly public realm.

  • The feature lighting is designed to provide a memorable landmark to the square that gives it different feel at night time.

The early design proposals for the Market Square were informed by two rounds of public consultation.  The plans were refined further following engagement with local stakeholders in 2020.  Work is expected to get underway in autumn 2021.

Pedestrian friendly

A number of highway changes have been designed to make the Market Square more pedestrian friendly.  This will affect parking and waiting restrictions on roads adjoining the Market Square including, Church Street, Castle Street and King Street.  The key changes include: 

Church Street

  • New coach drop-offs accommodating both left- and right-hand drive vehicles (20 minutes stay with no return for one hour) 
  • The existing parking and disabled bays will be removed between Stembrook and The Gateway offices (eastern side), and between Stembrook and St Mary’s Passage (western side) and replaced with double yellow lines
  • New disabled parking bays will be provided in the Stembrook car park 

Castle Street 

  • A new loading bay and a bus stop clearway will be created on the south-eastern side between Dolphin Passage and Church Street
  • The existing pay-and-display parking bays will be removed between Dolphin Passage and Church Street.  Pay-and-Display spaces will still be available between Dolphin Passage and Maison Dieu Road

King Street

  • A new loading bay (40 minutes maximum stay with no return for two hours) and double yellow lines will replace the existing taxi rank and parking bays between Castle Street and Fishmongers Lane (eastern wide)
  • A new loading bay (40 minutes maximum stay with no return for two hours) and double yellow lines will replace the existing coach lay-by between Cannon Street and Queen Street (western side)
  • Additional spaces for taxis will be available at St James and at a further location still to be confirmed

You can see the Traffic Order and comment on the proposals by Monday, 8 March 2021 on the Kent County Council website.

Market Square plan Feb21