The Town Council now provides free Wi-Fi to all visitors in all of its council buildings.
The Town Council now provides free Wi-Fi to all visitors in all of its council buildings.
Dragon Boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition and the fastest growing water activity in Britain today. Up to 10 people paddle each 30′ boat with a drummer at the front beating in time and a helm at the tail steering a straight course. No previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit.
St Neots deserves more, can do more and could benefit from £5.8million pounds of new investment! That is the overall finding of a recently completed ‘St Neots Masterplan for Growth’ commissioned by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and conducted in collaboration with Huntingdonshire District Council and St Neots Town Council.
Friday 19 January, saw the inaugural meeting of the new multi‐agency Steering Group that will drive forward the recommendations in the plan and begin to shape and implement a delivery programme of activities across the Town.
The group will be chaired by former Deputy Mayor of the Combined Authority and Huntingdonshire District Councillor, Robin Howe. The people involved are representatives from the Town, District and County Councils, including the Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Derek Giles and importantly also incorporating local business people and expertise being drawn from industry, education and skills, transport, planning and property.
The Masterplan is the first of a series to be commissioned by the Combined Authority to help determine how best to maximise regeneration and reinvigoration of key market towns of Cambridgeshire, that maximises their potential as vibrant places to live, work and relax.
Derek Giles, Mayor of St Neots and District Councillor for Eaton Socon ward, said: “St Neots is the largest town in Cambridgeshire and all too often is seen as the forgotten town by many residents. At long last we will enjoy much needed investment to help fund and promote our town to become a vibrant and great place to live and work in.”
Graham Bull, Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said: “This exciting project is designed to unlock the potential of St Neots as a key Town in our District that can be an even better place to live, learn and work and can also set the standard for ensuring a successful formula can be found to develop our other market towns in the district into the future.”
Mayor of the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority, James Palmer, said: “I want all the market towns of Cambridgeshire to become vibrant economic and social centres; growth hubs if you like, where people can find jobs, affordable housing and efficient transport systems and I believe the St Neots Masterplan initiative is a big step toward achieving this objective.”
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.
The IWA (Inland Waterways Association) Festival of Water will bring 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.”
Follow the stories of the 2017 St Neots Awards winners and find out what they have been up to since being recognised with a St Neots Award back in September 2017. Read their stories on our Awards website blog.
2017 category winners:
Fundraiser of the Year – sponsored by Rexroth Bosch Group
Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by Leeds Day Solicitors
Sports Person of the Year – sponsored by Hunt & Coombs Solicitors
Community Group/Project of the Year – sponsored by Lovett Sales & Letting
Riverside Miniature Railway
Sports Group/Club of the Year – sponsored by Giggs & Company
Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by Anchor Trust
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.