Have your say: Folkestone Place Plan 6th April

What does a Town Centre for the future look like?

Ask your mum, dad, grandkids, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, and you’ll have a lot of commonalities and lot of differences.

This task has been given to Katherine Harvey (pictured), Chief Economic Development Officer at Folkestone & Hythe District Council to accomplish.

The Council chose WE MADE THAT via competitive tender, and who have to date successfully worked with the council to develop the current set of priorities in the Place Plan.

This team overseen by Mrs Harvey, will between now and 12:00 noon Wednesday 6 July, be putting together a bid for £20 million pound, for the 2nd round of the Levelling Up Fund [LUF].

For the second round of the LUF, projects must be able to demonstrate they can spend from the LUF in the 2022-23 financial year. All funding provided from the LUF has to be spent by 31 March 2025 and by 2025-26 in exceptional cases.

There are three themes under which bids may be made.

Transport Investments

Regeneration and town centre investment

Cultural & heritage assets investment

Bid winner’s will be announced in the autumn of 2022. And spending would need to follow swiftly after.

The LUF bid is to fund the continuation of the Place Plan. The bid will focus on the Regeneration and town centre investment theme.

A digest of the initial views of the first consultation exercise can be read here. It had six initial missions, which have now morphed into priorities. These are:

  • Station Arrival & Town Centre Connections

  • Improved Gateway to Town Centre & Bouverie Square

  • Sandgate Road and Town Centre Public Realm

  • F51 Environs of Payers Park

  • Harbour Line & Tram Road

  • Sunny Sands

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The Council’s Corporate Plan 2021-30 ‘Creating Together Tomorrow’ recognises the need to reinvigorate all district town centres, particularly investing in Folkestone town centre.

Ambition 3: A Vibrant Economy sets out priority actions to reinvigorate high streets through investigating opportunities for diversification, attracting investment into non-retail uses, such as creative workspace, leisure, housing, cultural and heritage-related activities. A key action in the corporate plan is the completion of the Place Plan.

Mrs Harvey’s task of pleasing all the people all of the time comes with such  challenges as improving employment, education attainment, economic performance, improving the quality of life and sense of place, vibrant
and social mix in neighborhoods, particularly where this minimises
disparities and strategic development which fosters high quality place making with an emphasis on sustainable movement, buildings and green space.

Not easy and not something which can be done by bedtime, given so many competing voices.

The definition of what a Place Plan is all about is set out clearly in the Wikipedia definition of Placemaking. Its very first principle should guide such work:

“The Community Knows Best

An important aspect of placemaking is taking into account inputs of the people who will be using the public space most. That is, to say, the community for which the public space is intended. This is important because members of the community are likely to have useful
insights into how the space does – or should – function, as well as a historical perspective of the area, and an understanding of what does and does not matter to other members of the community.”

So if you want to have your say on – What does a Folkestone Town Centre for the future look like – you can join a public webinar on:

Wednesday 6 April from 6pm until 7.30pm. You can register on the Eventbrite website here.

The Shepway Vox Town

Dissent is NOT a Crime

 

About shepwayvox (1499 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

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