Vital improvements for St Neots town centre move a step closer

Mayor of St Neots Stephen Ferguson in the Market Square.

Mayor of St Neots Stephen Ferguson in the Market Square. - Credit: Archant

A scheme which could bring a multi-million pound investment to St Neots town centre is set to move a step closer.

The St Neots Future High Streets Fund  will bring in up to £12.8m from organisations including the government, Huntingdonshire District Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

The Combined Authority is set to discuss the project at a meeting on Wednesday (November 24) where it will be asked to accept the business case for the scheme and to authorise the completion of the funding agreement.

Mayor of St Neots Cllr Stephen Ferguson said: "It is incredibly important. I think the whole future of the town depends on it going through."

The scheme is part of a £1 billion fund announced by the Government in the 2018 budget which will benefit 72 towns across the country.

The scheme has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and an "extended lag" in receiving confirmation from the the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government. 

In its agenda, the CPCA, said: "The St Neots Future High Street Fund Scheme will contribute to the regeneration of St Neots town centre through a range of investments that will include residential development, office space re-configuration and the refurbishment of a range of community and arts provision at the Priory Centre.

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"This will be supported by a number of connectivity interventions including enhanced pedestrian and cycling infrastructure as well as adjustments to car parking facilities and revamped wider public realm."

Six areas for investment have been targeted:  Pedestrian and cycling improvements to St Neots town bridge, High Street and Market Square improvements, including removal of car parking, redevelopment of Priory Quarter to provide a high-quality event and cultural space acting as an anchor for the redevelopment of the northern parts of the town centre, regeneration of the Old Falcon Inn and a new Waterfront Route including a riverside promenade to create a new attraction which uses the riverfront of the Great Ouse for leisure and recreation. 

The Combined Authority agenda said the total cost of the scheme was £8,521,894, with £928,676 of funding secured from Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government £3.1m from itself under the Market Towns Programme, £993,218 from Huntingdonshire District Council and £3.5m from Highways England.