Mayor of Ramsey gives his backing to masterplan proposal for town

Mayor of Ramsey Councillor Doug McIlwain

Mayor of Ramsey Councillor Doug McIlwain - Credit: Archant

A proposed master plan which aims to transform “under-invested” Ramsey into an economic hub has been backed by councillors in the town.

The plan has been proposed by the deputy mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Robin Howe, as part of a wider scheme to create master plans for all market towns in the district.

Included in the ambitious proposal, according to Mr Howe, will be a programme of investment in housing, retail and commercial.

“I think Ramsey needs to be one of those towns involved because it is under-invested, it has too few jobs, its town centre is not well equipped with retail offerings and so we need to attract investment,” Mr Howe said.

“You could imagine a big economic hub there with housing, retail and commercial in the same area, and if you put that into Ramsey it will have a dramatic effect.”

The old railway station site could also be refurbished and a new tourism and recreation offering be erected in its place, Mr Howe suggested.

Regeneration of the town’s canal side to include cafés, pubs and walkways are also being considered.

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“You’ve got a beautiful canal side and if you imagine that with cafes or a pub and walkways rather than just a commercial canal, you would be able to get people to come there using long boats or driving,” Mr Howe added.

Despite a master plan for the town only being in its first stages of discussion, it has already been welcomed by Ramsey mayor, Councillor Doug McIlwain.

Cllr McIlwain said: “I don’t want to see any town engulfed by housing but if we don’t start building housing and encouraging people to come to the town it will die.”

As part of the plan, Cllr McIlwain hopes that national chains that have previously not considered opening in the town will change their minds.

He said: “I think they would do amazingly well here, there are enough young people here, instead of going to Peterborough or Huntingdon they would do well – it’s a bit short-sighted.”

However, Ramsey town councillor Peter Reeve said he had mixed views about the potential for a master plan, saying that some of the projects proposed have already be launched by the town council.