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Council presses on with ambitious plans for uplift to Huntingdonshire towns

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Huntingdon, St. Neots, St Ives, and Ramsey have been updated on ambitious plans to help them recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Huntingdonshire District Council says its Market Towns Programme (MTP) aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets.

They hope to “promote growth, improves experiences and ensure sustainability”.

Short term the council wants to create a “renewed sense of place, igniting civic pride, and providing attractive new destinations for our residents and businesses alike.

“The longer-term ambition is to stimulate public and private sector investment, bringing forward future opportunities for jobs and skills”.

The MTP is funded through a combination of external funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA), Huntingdonshire District Council Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and National Highways.

Councillors have been provided with an update on the MTP on a town-by-town basis.

ST NEOTS

Priory Centre & Quarter and has, says the council, an exceptional riverside location, which is well loved by the local community.

“However, it is not being utilised to the best of its ability,” says the update report.

“The council have commissioned Mott MacDonalds to carry out high-level options analysis for the centre to make the best use of its location, to investigate possible uses based on local need and to support its commercial viability.

“The wider Priory Quarter has also been included within the commission, this is to carry out early high-level feasibility studies and any further work would require significant investment.”

Once this work is completed the council says it will consult further on options.  

The Old Falcon: A Grade II listed building and holds a prominent position in the Market Square.

The building is privately owned and in a poor condition.

The council says that if the building is left with no repair works carried out the Old Falcon will eventually fall into further disrepair.

To understand the full extent of the works, the council has commissioned a full structural and condition survey that will be required to bring the building back into a viable economic use.

Once complete, the survey will inform how the council can best take improvements forward.

“These options may include using HDC’s statutory authority to avoid further degradation to a Grade II listed building and any future proposals would require a full planning application as well as Listed Building consent,” says the report.

Waterfront Riverside The proposal would form part of the wider Priory Quarter and Priory Centre concepts.

A series of resident and stakeholder engagement events were conducted throughout May 2022.

The council is working on a final assessment which will be released shortly.

ST IVES The Masterplan for St Ives was commissioned in the summer of 2021 and has been completed by Tetra Tech, this has been circulated to local councillors.

There is a meeting on the 13th of September with ward Cllrs to hear first-hand their views on the plan and a further meeting on 26th September with the Town Council

Deadline for feedback on the masterplan should be received by the 28th of October 2022.

The projects delivered so far include improvements to the Public Convenience, Parklets and EV charging points for electric vehicles.

RAMSEY The Masterplan for Ramsey was commissioned in the summer of 2021.

Deadline for feedback on the masterplan should be received by the 28th of October 2022.

The projects delivered so far include Parklet, Planters and Modern Waste Solutions.

One of the projects, The Ramsey Civic Hub was acquired by the Town Council and work commenced in July 2022.

Some work has been completed to planters in the town centre and this project needs to be completed.

The other main project within the accelerated projects is the public realm project to the Great Whyte, this is linked to the funding application to the CPCA for the Local Growth Fund project.

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