Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) has secured funding, from a range of sources, for an ambitious £16.3 million investment in St Neots town centre. The investment will deliver six projects, transforming the market town for the benefit of local people, businesses, and visitors.
These webpages are one of the tools we and our partners will be using to ensure that local people are kept informed and can join the conversation about the future of St Neots. If you’d like to receive updates to your inbox you can join our mailing list.
What is the Future High Streets Fund?
The £16.3 million investment in St Neots High Street comes from a range of sources, including £3.7 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) Future High Streets Fund. St Neots is one of 72 towns across England to be awarded a FHSF grant.
The Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) is a £1 billion fund, unveiled in the 2018 Budget as part of the ‘Our Plan for the High Street’ roadmap for regenerating high streets to support local economic growth.
The FHSF is about supporting high streets to tackle the challenges they face, including the rise of online and out-of-town retail. It aims to enable towns to look to the future and bring customers back to the high street by creating unique shopping experiences that cannot be found online.
The MHCLG Future High Streets Fund Overview contains details of the fund and how it will be delivered and implemented across England.
The future of St Neots High Street
The St Neots Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) programme will help the town reach its potential, prepare for its future and address a range of key issues. St Neots is a popular, growing market town but the town centre is underperforming:
St Neots is the fastest-growing town in Cambridgeshire.
St Neots has excellent intercity transport connections to both London and Cambridge and is located on the beautiful River Great Ouse, making it an attractive place to live, work and visit.
Despite its built heritage and setting, parts of the town centre lack appeal to visitors and residents and heavy traffic reduces the quality of experience.
Businesses are unable to take advantage of the town’s growth and advantageous connections as the centre cannot support destination retail and other leisure activities.
The population is growing, but footfall in the town centre is declining.
The town centre lacks vibrancy and is not seen as an attractive destination in terms of its cultural and leisure offer.
The town struggles to compete with the challenge from online shopping.
St Neots Town Centre retail employment, the largest town centre employment sector, has declined.
In response to these challenges four overarching themes were identified, which led to the creation of specific objectives to deliver positive results for St Neots.
These themes, objectives and target results informed the selection of the six projects that make up the St Neots FHSF programme.
Join the conversation
The St Neots FHSF programme has been informed by previous community and stakeholder engagement including the work to support the St Neots Masterplan for Growth.
As the programme moves forward, we want the community to join the conversation about the future of St Neots and work with us to develop a shared vision for the town. COVID-19 is still impacting how we can talk to local people, and we will be working hard to give you a chance to get involved both online and socially distanced face to face.
If you want to make sure you’re invited to all our community events and activities, you can join our mailing list.
You can also join the conversation on social media - tell us what you think using the hashtags #FutureHighStreets #StNeotsFHSF.