'Brilliant news' as St Neots wins multi-million-pound investment for town
- Credit: ARCHANT
People in St Neots will be celebrating after the town won more than £3.7 million of Government money from a scheme designed to boost its high street.
The money, from the Future High Streets Fund, is part of a £12m pot identified to improve facilities in the town.
Cllr Ryan Fuller, leader of Huntingdonshire District Council,which was behind the bid, said he was "delighted" that it had been successful and that it would be a trailblazer for future investment in St Neots and the district's other market towns.
Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, said: "At the end of what has been a pretty bad year, this comes as brilliant news."
St Neots won the funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) worth up to £1 billion and designed to reshape high streets for the future.
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St Neots was awarded £3,748,815, coming on top of £150,000 to fund detailed development proposals for the scheme.
Cllr Fuller said: "A lot of time, hard work and commitment has been put into producing a plan for the growth and prosperity of St Neots.
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"These funds, which are part of a much larger proposed £12 million plan, will be vital in achieving our ambitions for the town and district as a whole."
Cllr Fuller said; "We are aiming to future proof our towns and this significant investment will go a long way to realising those plans.
"This is the first step in many for the growth of Huntingdonshire and I am delighted that our bid has been successful."
Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Stephen Ferguson said: "I think this is really brilliant news and the district council deserve our thanks for the effort it has put in."
He said the scheme could involve making the market square more of a focal point, including the potential compulsory purchase of the semi-derelict Old Falcon hotel, in a way which had worked at nearby Hitchin.
Cllr Ferguson said he wanted the town to attract more independent traders which had been successful in the town's main market, increasing the number of stalls and bringing in shoppers from outside the town.
He said the response to the coronavirus crises was likely to see more people working from home and he wanted to see workers who were no longer commuting to spend their money in the town rather than in the City.