Multi-million pound hopes for the regeneration of Newton Abbot

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(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)

Plans to transform Newton Abbot town centre will be unveiled for public feedback this week, as Teignbridge Council reaches the next phase in a major redevelopment plan, set to boost the economy and put the town on the map as a destination to visit.

The Future High Streets Fund, expected to be in the region of between £10-£15m, will inject a much-needed cash boost into the local economy, fast-tracking the town’s economy and transforming the town for residents, shoppers and visitors.

Plans feature a major redevelopment of Market Hall, Market Square and the old Alexandra cinema, to include a new eating quarter, a state of the art cinema, a remodelled entertainment and events venue and high-quality market space. They will also include pedestrian improvements and the addition of greenery in the Queen Street area, cycling improvements for better links to shopping facilities and increased parking at Cricketfield car park.

The government funding will be match-funded by other partners, including Devon County Council, which is contributing towards improvements to the road infrastructure to create better routes for walking and cycling into the town.

The plans are being unveiled to the public, traders and local stakeholders to have their say on the proposals.

Teignbridge Council Leader Gordon Hook said: “This is a unique opportunity to breathe new life into Newton Abbot town centre, repositioning it as a quality destination both for Devon residents and holidaymakers to the area. This Future High Street funding is just one element of our regeneration plans for the town and the wider district, and at a time when the whole country is still reeling from the economic impact of COVID, it provides a timely and valuable kick start for the local economy.

“The plans incorporate significant improvements to the road infrastructure, both within the town itself and in the routes into it, enabling better cycling access, widened pedestrian routes and increasing the greenery along the main arterial routes into the town. This work will be a major step forward in our quest to tackle climate change and improve air quality in the town, with e-car charging points at Cricketfield and covered bicycle parking.

“This is now the time for local businesses, residents and community organisations in the town to tell us what they think of the plans, and we’re keen to demonstrate to the government that this is something that is not only wanted and supported by the local community but will also enhance the local economy, improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the population and put the town on the map.”

The project was a major coup for Teignbridge Council when its bid was selected as just one of 100 towns across the country to benefit from the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government Future High Street funding last August. The government is now keen for councils to progress plans to help support the COVID recovery.

The engagement phase launching on 3 June until 26 June provides the public, businesses, and other local groups with an opportunity to share their views on these plans.

Councillor Nina Jeffries, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “Our market towns and communities are the critical infrastructure in the COVID-19 recovery phase and have committed significant resources and refocused our services into meeting the challenge of that emergency, we are now keen to promote and invest in the recovery. The Future High Streets Fund presents a timely opportunity for this and we are keen to hear from residents, business and other organisations about what a Newton Abbot for the future should look like.

“Our vision for Newton Abbot town centre is aspirational and ambitious and sets out to transform the area as a cultural hub with an array of the market, commercial and dining venues which would boost the local economy and have a significant impact on the local community, and the whole of Teignbridge, for generations to come.”

Newton Abbot Mayor Cllr Richard Jenks said: “Newton Abbot Town Council has already played a major role in rejuvenating the town’s cultural scene by enabling the £2.2 million creation of Newton’s Place, the new community hub and home for our wonderful museum.

“However, the COVID 19 crisis has given our local economy a severe battering.

“But the news that Teignbridge is bidding for £10-£15 million from the Future High Streets Fund means there is potentially very good news on the horizon.

“We want Newton Abbot to be a town that everyone feels proud of and can grow its reputation as a destination for visitors who will enjoy the warm hospitality in our markets, shops, restaurants, cinema and museum as well as our parks with their country walks, wildlife and lakes.

“I hope everyone will take the opportunity to comment on the plans.”

Newton Abbot Town Development Manager, Sally Henley said: “We are fortunate that Newton Abbot has the opportunity to bid for government Future High Streets Funding. There was a great deal of demand from many towns and cities across the land, but only a few towns were lucky enough to be invited to put forward proposals for improving their town centres.

“I know that Teignbridge District Council has been extremely busy over the last few months, drawing up a number of proposals designed to enhance the town centre and I welcome the news that we are now able to view the plans. I encourage residents and businesses to take this opportunity to have a look at the ideas and to let TDC know what they think, by responding to the online questionnaires.”

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