Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) is ready to launch a district-wide proposal to promote growth and economic development within its market towns. Huntingdon and St Ives are two of the next towns in line to receive masterplans of their own, following on from the commencement of the St Neots masterplan in 2017, that are aimed to make Huntingdonshire a better place to live, work and invest.
HDC hosted a Strategic Workshop on Thursday 2 May, which was the first opportunity for stakeholders of the market towns to come together and provide their input on the long-term future of the district. The feedback from the session, which was hosted in partnership with Metro Dynamics, will be used to build the bespoke prospectuses for the growth of each remaining market town.
Cllr Ryan Fuller, Deputy Executive Leader and Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning and Economic Development said: "Creating prospectuses for growth for each of our market towns is the next step in delivering our manifesto commitment to support the local economy and reinvigorate our market towns. Our town centres are changing, with increased competition coming from online, discount retailers and out of town shopping. However, vibrant and flourishing town centres are vital to our local communities and to the Huntingdonshire economy. The masterplan process will help to secure increased investment and support our market towns in adapting so that they continue to be attractive places to live, work and invest.
"We’ve brought together local stakeholders across the district to aid us in producing the masterplans, focussing on the individual needs, barriers and existing catalysts for growth of each market town. The launch event was well-supported and was incredibly successful and useful in terms of outlining a collective ambition and planning for the long-term future of our market towns.
"It is vital that this collaborative work continues to ensure that the masterplans produced will not only be successful but also provide sustainable long-term economic growth across Huntingdonshire."
25% of Cambridgeshire’s population live within one of its 11 market towns and they provide crucial support to the city centres of Cambridge and Peterborough. No two of the market towns are the same, each boasting their own individual history and character, which is why having individual masterplans for development is key to delivering positive and effective change.
HDC and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) are working together on the new prospectuses for growth, implementing analysis from specialist consultants. The masterplans will make a lasting impact on each town’s economy by driving sustainable, economic growth that will aid in the continued development to our local centres.