A multi-million-pound transformation project for St Neots town centre has taken a step forward following the District Council’s submission of a bid at the end of July for over £5m of government funding.
The bid, in addition to more than £6.5m of investment from Huntingdonshire District Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, forms part of an ambitious plan to reinvigorate public spaces in St Neots through the government’s Future High Streets Fund (FHSF).
Working with consultants Mott McDonald and key stakeholders, including the St Neots Masterplan Steering Group and St Neots Town Council, we have developed an ambitious package of projects focused on:
- improving the Market Square and the High Street
- regenerating the Old Falcon
- delivering new town centre and riverside business, arts and leisure space in and around the Priory Centre quarter
- connecting areas outside the town centre better by improving access into the town for people walking, cycling and using public transport.
Executive Leader of the council, Cllr Ryan Fuller, said: "A lot of work has gone into shaping these transformative proposals and the funding request to give us the best chance to secure government money and deliver these improvements in St Neots. St Neots is a large and growing town and through this significant investment, HDC will help to deliver a town centre that is fit for the future by making better use of properties and public spaces to make them more vibrant and usable by the community.
The government has only accepted one bid per local authority area and given the growth that St Neots has seen in recent years it is only right that in return it should be the first to benefit from these investment proposals. However, since my election as Leader late last year I have set out a strong vision for our market towns and we are actively working on investment and regeneration proposals for St Ives, Huntingdon and Ramsey that we will pursue separately to the Future High Streets Fund bid for St Neots.
We are likely to hear from the government by the autumn if our bid has been successful and HDC will then begin wider public engagement and consultation as I very much want the future of St Neots town centre and the delivery of this exciting investment to be shaped by the St Neots community."
Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, said: "If successful, this bid will represent the largest investment in St Neots in living memory and has the potential to solve many of our town’s most pressing issues. I am very grateful for to my colleagues at HDC for all the work that has gone into this exciting proposal, which I think clearly demonstrates the ambition that all tiers of local government have for our wonderful town."