Flitwick town centre to get a multi-million revamp

A multi-million pound regeneration plan of Flitwick town centre has been released.

Thursday, 17th August 2017, 12:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:00 am

A multi-million pound regeneration plan for Flitwick town centre has been released.

Residents are being invited to give their opinions on the two-pronged proposal of the town in the coming weeks.

One initiative looks at improvements to the high street and surrounding areas, with a joint total of £1.8million of funding from the town council and Central Bedfordshire Council.

The second part sets out upgrading the train station, including better parking and cycling facilities.

Central Beds councillor Nigel Young said: “These are exciting plans which are at a very early concept stage of what will be a long-term piece of work.

“They really set out a positive vision for the regeneration of Flitwick town centre – a focal point for the town that can transform its potential in terms of transport, retail, jobs and homes.

“This consultation is the start of what we plan to be an ongoing conversation we want with our residents on how to rejuvenate the area.

“The feedback we receive will be reviewed and used to inform how these ideas are developed further, with more rounds of consultation planned for the future.”

The two initiatives aim to revitalise Flitwick for local residents, visitors and commuters.

Stephanie James, assistant for the market town initiative, said: “These are all concept ideas, nothing has been decided.

“The aim is to simplify the high street area, remove street clutter, and make Flitwick more visually appealing.

“We want to make the streets look nicer and encourage local people to use their own high street.”

Two public consultations have already taken place where residents were shown concept plans.

Ms James said: “We had just over 100 people through the door for our drop-in sessions. A lot of people were pleased with what they were being told.

“We would like to see a few more people for the upcoming consultations to give their opinions and priorities for the town.

“They are the ones living here and we want to find out what is important to them.”

The areas to be improved include the High Street, Kings Road and Station Road, as well as more community activities at the library.

A shopping parade is also being proposed on Steppingley Road to provide retail space for new shops, create around 100 to 200 jobs, and possibly provide new homes close to the station.

A spokesman for Central Beds Council said: “The idea is to bring new shops, services and homes close to the station area.

“The layout could provide much more of a focal point for the town centre, which is currently divided into different areas by the railway line.

“We’ve already secured interest from a major national retailer to take a prominent shop unit in the new development.”

Plans also include a new public transport interchange in Flitwick with coordinated bus and train times to encourage commuters to travel to the station by bus rather than car.

Updated traveller information would be put on digital screens for commuters, showing both bus and train timetables together.

Further improvements to cycling and car parking facilities at the station have been suggested as well as a new multi-storey car park with easier access at the entry and exit.

The next public consultations will take place on September 4 and 7 at Flitwick Library from 2-6pm.

Residents can also give their views on the Central Beds Council website or pick up a questionnaire from the library or leisure centre.