New Masterplan to bring business growth and jobs to St Neots
- Credit: ARCHANT
Businesses in St Neots are being quizzed about the services they need to grow as part of a multi-million pound masterplan for the town being drawn up by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
Key business sectors, such as the creative industry, business services, technology and manufacturing, have already been identified as playing a major role in the future prosperity of the town where the population is expected to expand by a quarter in the period to 2036.
The authority is planning to boost market towns and St Neots could see millions of pounds being added to its economy, together with the creation of up to 4,000 jobs.
It is looking for evidence about what local firms need to grow and more than 100 telephone interviews have taken place. Now an online survey is being carried out with smaller businesses, in particular creative professionals interested in commercial space in the St Neots area, to broaden the response.
But dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is expected to have an impact on the way firms approach development plans, affecting the results of the survey which have to be in by February 5.
Katie Williams, St Neots town development manager, said: “We appreciate times are tough for many businesses at the moment, with more immediate concerns due to the pandemic.
“For this research, we are asking business owners to tell us their needs beyond Covid in the longer term, so that we can formulate a plan to secure sector based commercial space, business support and incentives to aid and secure business growth for the future.”
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She said the results of the research would help the masterplan team formulate a targeted plan to increase commercial activity, investment and incentives for businesses looking to grow and relocate to St Neots and urged firms to spend 10 minutes on taking part in the survey.
Around 7,000 new homes are being built in St Neots, especially around Loves Farm and Wintringham Park where commercial development is also taking place and which the masterplan hopes to capitalise on.
The new Wintringham Park development will include 63,500m2 of employment space and the masterplan team is in talks with developers, Urban and Civic, to ensure new employment space is brought forward to support the key sectors.
A shortage of industry-ready training has already been identified in the St Neots area.
The survey can be found at https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=160561778383.