St Neots first market town backed by Combined Authority

Making the right investments with input from local people is key to protecting the future of St Neots as a bright and vibrant market town, according to a report which will be going to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Board on 25th October.

The report, which comes following the appointment of a team of specialist consultants to create a growth plan back in July, is entitled ‘St Neots Masterplan for Growth’ and will provide a blueprint for the work that the Combined Authority, Huntingdonshire District Council and local partners need to undertake to help St Neots reach its full potential as a great place to live, work and visit.

The report recommends that £5.8m is invested in a number of projects designed to unlock growth in St Neots, leading to a regeneration of the town centre. If given backing by the Combined Authority Board, it will mean that St Neots becomes the first market town in the county to benefit from Combined Authority funding targeted to promote growth in towns, cities and villages.

The investment will be made following consultation with a new steering group called the St Neots Masterplan Partnership. The partnership will be comprised of local and regional politicians along with representatives from the business, education and health sectors, as well as other stakeholders.

The partnership will then develop an even bolder second phase to the masterplan. This will focus on creating a skilled workforce to support the industries within the town and attracting more businesses to locate to or grow in St Neots. The plan will also consider arising opportunities such as the connectivity of the East – West corridor and the feasibility study already underway on the introduction of a rapid mass transport link between St Neots and Cambridge.

Councillor Robin Howe, Deputy Mayor for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “St Neots is the largest town in the region and has great potential, but this needs to be unlocked. If given backing by the Board, the initial £5.8 million will make a real impact and will make a considerable difference within the town. Proposals for the regeneration of the town centre and improved transportation will give a real boost for all of St Neots’ residents and would help to attract more people to come to this fantastic place.

Councillor Graham Bull, Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said: ““St Neots is a hugely important place, and is key to the overall success of Huntingdonshire. We are very keen to work together with our partners in the Town Council and at the Combined Authority to realise St Neots’ full potential for creating jobs and homes, and also for community well-being. Delivering our ‘Local Plan to 2036’, alongside the Town’s own Neighbourhood Plan and the Combined Authority’s Masterplan gives all of us the tools to do exactly that. A new appetite to make things happen, and new funding to unlock progress is most welcome.”

Councillor Derek Giles, Mayor of the St Neots, said: “This investment by the Combined Authority into St.Neots will be a great opportunity to help reverse the worrying trend of St.Neots further becoming a dormitory town. The plan to revitalise the town centre to help the day time economy is welcome, as well as the long term skill training opportunities for our young people which will bring long term benefits to St.Neots for decades to come. These are exciting times for our town and I am glad that the other authorities are now proposing to work with, and listen to, our Town Council for the benefit of all our residents. It’s local skilled job opportunities we need not just more houses for commuters.”

St Neots was chosen by the Combined Authority as the starting point for a renewed focus on market towns and is the first in a series of masterplan studies proposed for the market towns of Cambridgeshire by Mayor James Palmer.

The plans aim to ensure that growth in housing numbers is coordinated with improved infrastructure, enhanced education and skills training as well as the provision of more local jobs; all of which together will lead to regenerated towns with improved mobility and local services.

View the agenda items for the Combined Authority board.

Festival of Water to take place in St Neots next year

The IWA (Inland Waterways Association) Festival of Water brings a free family day out offering attractions both on and off the water.  Many boats attend, including leisure, trade, heritage and working narrowboats and a wide range of craft stalls, music, entertainment and activities for children ensure fun is had by all.  There will also be a market and fundraising stalls and the IWA would like to hear from boaters, charities and local groups who are interested in having a stall and fundraising for their chosen cause.

IWA Events Team Chairman Jane Elwell said: “We are so pleased with the encouraging comments made by both local councils who are really looking forward to the IWA’s Festival of Water coming to town.  There will be several exciting boating events on the Anglian Waterways in 2018 and we are sure IWA members and supporters will have a wonderful time getting to know the waterways better as they cruise their way to St Neots.”

Huntingdonshire District Council and St Neots Town Council are pleased to be working in partnership to bring this coveted event to the town.

Councillor Richard West, Chairman of Huntingdonshire District Council, says: “This is fantastic news for St Neots and our district.  What a great celebration the IWA Festival of Water will be for our beautiful river, and we look forward to the festivities that will attract thousands of people to this unique event.”

Councillor Derek Giles, Mayor of St Neots added: “Riverside Park is at the heart of the town and the site of many successful river-based events.  It is the perfect location for a waterside festival and we have some fantastic ideas that we are working on with The Inland Waterways Association to make this event one to remember.”

St Neots Awards Winners 2017

 

The winners of the 2017 St Neots Awards were announced at a gala ceremony and dinner, held at the Priory Centre on Friday 29 September. Guests were treated to a fabulous three course meal and live entertainment from Lawrence Hill. The whole ceremony was hosted by presenters from Black Cat 107, St Neots community radio station.

The 2017 winners, as voted for by the local community are:

Fundraiser of the Year – sponsored by Rexroth Bosch Group

Alexis Ellison

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Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Leeds Day Solicitors

Debbie Abbott

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Sports Person of the Year – sponsored by Hunt & Coombs Solicitors

Erin Hall

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Community Group/Project of the Year – sponsored by Lovett Sales & Letting

Riverside Miniature Railway

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Sports Group/Club of the Year – sponsored by Giggs & Company

Falcon Flames

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Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by Anchor Trust

Trevor Gunton

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The Mayor’s Award – presented by the Mayor of St Neots

Sam & Liam Smith

The Mayor of St Neots said about this year’s winners:

I happen to think this town is pretty special – the members of our community recognised in the St Neots Awards campaign this year have achieved extraordinary things; they are the pillars of our community, making St Neots a great place to be!”

Further information about all of this year’s winners and highly commended finalists is available on www.stneotsawards.co.uk. Photographs from the event are also available to view on the Awards Facebook page this week @stneotsawards.

 

Business Showcase Success

 

The 5th annual Business Showcase took place in St Neots Market Square on Friday 9 June, 10.30am-2.30pm.

Twenty five local businesses and organisations attended the event to promote their products and services and raise brand awareness. The showcase was organised jointly by Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce and St Neots Town Council, to provide local businesses with an opportunity to explore new opportunities and widen their client base in a unique, fun and informal environment.

Large and small organisations from across the town took part, representing a breadth of industry sectors:

  • ABC Life Support (first aid training providers)
  • Barclays Bank (business banking)
  • Barford and Co (chartered surveyors)
  • Black Cat 107FM (St Neots Community Radio Station)
  • Co-operative Funeral Care
  • Cambridge Traditional Products (natural beeswax products)
  • Habby Days (craft & haberdashery retailer)
  • Jeffery Mills Solicitors
  • Nelson’s Lodge Care Home (Anchor)
  • Premier Plus Financial Advisors
  • Hunt and Coombs Solicitors
  • Huntingdon Regional College
  • i-d Image Development (photography)
  • My Life Living Assistance (home help and companionship service)
  • Sweet Paradise (confectionary retailer)
  • Riverside Miniature Railway (local NFP group)
  • Keystone Marketing
  • Leeds Day Solicitors
  • Safeguard Electrical
  • Urban and Civic plc (developers)
  • Waitrose (St Neots store)
  • Wyboston Lakes

Members of the public and business visitors enjoyed browsing the stands. Several exhibitors ran competitions, provided demonstrations, promoted special offers and distributed samples and goodie bags to draw in interest. What was paramount about the event was the opportunity for exhibitors to engage with each other to explore B2B opportunities and make new connections.

 

John Bridge OBE DL, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, commented: “The event was a unique opportunity to showcase the wide variety of successful businesses and illustrate the vibrancy of the local business community.”

Ian Burt, from Barclays Business Banking who exhibited commented: ‘We found the event very useful for engaging with the public and great value for money. Thank you for putting it on.’

Katie Williams, Development Manager at St Neots Town Council said: ‘The feedback received from exhibitors has been really positive and it has been a pleasure working with the Chambers to highlight the breadth of businesses operating in and around St Neots. We will definitely look to continue this event annually and hope to engage even more businesses next year.’

 

 

Tree Work being carried out in Riverside Park

Latest News:

Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) is currently carrying out vital tree work in Riverside Park, St Neots.

As a response to a recent tree inspection some trees have been identified as a concern. As a safety measure the District Council have fenced the trees off to prevent visitors to the park entering the area beneath the trees.

As the trees are within St Neots’ Conservation area HDC is working alongside Tree Officers to gain consent to carry out work on the trees. The identified trees will be reduced in height significantly to retain them for amenity and wildlife value to the local area.

Work is expected to be carried out within three weeks.


For further information contact Huntingdonshire District Council on: 01480 388 388