Jobs, shops and station revamp to transform Littleport in new masterplan
- Credit: Archant
Up to 1,000 new jobs, improvements to shops and a country park are all part of a masterplan to transform Littleport.
The Littleport Vision 2030 aims to make the area "healthy, thriving and prosperous" by investing in jobs, homes and skills.
More than 500 jobs are estimated for a new business park at the A10 roundabout, while 400 new jobs could be created at an Eco Business Park.
Both developments could cost up to £2 million.
Proposals also include a "business growth zone" along the A10, a new entrance to the station and free town centre Wi-Fi costing around £15,000.
It comes as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) is working alongside East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) to produce a new growth plan for every market town.
Littleport is classed under this, although technically it is still a village and the largest in East Cambridgeshire.
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"Littleport and the area surrounding it is growing fast," the report states.
"However, a lack of available business premises is hindering employment growth.
"There are not sufficient jobs for all residents and many people commute out of the town for work in Ely and elsewhere.
"One of the key challenges facing Littleport will be to provide future commercial and employment growth.
"Development of these sites will provide an increased number and importantly range of employment opportunities."
The Eco Business Park and A10 roundabout proposals could create more than 900 jobs from 60 businesses.
Both sites are expected to double the size of the Littleport economy to £286m over 25 years.
"This will result in Littleport generating £200m p.a/hour worked from 3000 jobs," it adds.
Shops, services and facilities in the town centre will be improved to "renew and reshape" the area.
Bosses say that "community and leisure is declining" as Littleport is "not located on the most active route".
"Light touch interventions will not be enough," the report continues.
"We need a town centre that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability.
"Population and employment growth must be supported by improvements in shops, services and facilities.
"A priority is to develop the retail offering and attract a range of new and relevant outlets to increase the attractiveness of Littleport town centre as a shopping and leisure destination."
A three-year work programme which is already run by CPCA could be also be rolled out in Littleport to "raise aspiration and increase access to a wide range of career choices for young people".
Training will be provided not only for young people, but will also target low skilled and low paid adult residents to enable them to get ahead in their careers.
A new country park will "put nature at the heart of the growth agenda" by creating an area on the The Moors, Station Road, and an "attractive entrance" to the station gateway and marina area.
"The country park will also open up access to the riverside from the town centre and create opportunities for more leisure facilities along the river."
Around 1,000 new homes are in the pipeline for the next five to seven years after the district was earmarked as being one of the top five areas nationally for growth.
Bus services could also be reviewed and an "attractive hub" at Littleport station to create a place for people to plug in and work.
The report says: "These wider investments will also result in a half hourly service from Littleport to Cambridge in the future
"The area does have potential to provide an attractive entrance to Littleport (gateway) and deliver a mixed live/work hub.
"Proposals to enhance the marina and the riverside will also be included."
The report is set to be approved at ECDC finance and assets committee next Thursday (September 26).