New Orchard Centre square named
Didcot’s new town square has been named following a competition run by South Oxfordshire District Council and Hammerson, owners of the Orchard Centre.
The square in the new extension of the Orchard Centre will be known as “The Core” and was chosen by judges from more than 270 entries from local residents.
In total, 14 people suggested The Core, making it the most popular name put forward for the newly designed space. Candice Gray, who lives in Chilton, was selected at random from those who suggested the name. As the lucky winner, she will receive a £100 gift voucher to spend at an Orchard Centre shop of her choosing.
Candice Gray, winner of the competition, said: “I am delighted to have won, I cannot believe it. My Mum told me I should enter the competition, but I never thought I would actually win it. As a thank you, I plan to share the prize with my Mum.”
The Core was chosen due to Didcot’s past links as an apple orchard, and its location being at the core of the Science Vale; a centre for science and innovation located in South Oxfordshire. The double meaning and its relationship to both the past and the future of the town was compelling for the judges.
Didcot’s historic past and its connection to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the designer of the Great Western railway which runs through Didcot, the power station and various historical names were consistent themes and suggestions from local residents as part of the competition.
The final decision rested with judges: Cllr Bill Service, cabinet member for Didcot Garden Town, Cllr Jackie Billington, Didcot Mayor and Andrew Berger-North, Hammerson UK Director of Retail Parks.
Cllr Bill Service said: “We were delighted with the amount of imaginative and well thought through entries we received for this unique competition. The final decision was not an easy one to make and we look forward to this being proudly displayed in the town centre for many years to come.”
Andrew Berger-North commented: “It is important to encourage participation from local residents across our centres, so it was great to see the engagement and enthusiasm this competition brought. I am sure residents will enjoy spending time in The Core and we have already received lots of positive feedback on the Orchard Centre extension.”
Cllr Jackie Billington said: “It’s exciting to see a new space opened up for the town and the enthusiasm from the participants to name the space only strengthens the local connection for the community.”
The new square is located between Costa Coffee and the restaurants at the end of the pedestrian walkway to the Broadway.
Hammerson will display the new name later this summer.