Bournemouth’s Town Deal ambitions have been given an early funding boost thanks to an accelerated £1million funding grant.
BCP Council, on behalf of the Bournemouth Towns Fund Board is on track to secure a £25million ‘Town Deal’ with central government to transform Boscombe into a new urban neighbourhood boasting a thriving hub of public squares, arts and culture, cafes, shops, homes and places to work.
Building on the area’s well-established creative industries, the existing smart place pilot currently underway at Lansdowne will expand into Boscombe, helping to attract more businesses and investors to the town and creating more jobs for local people.
The early £1million cash injection will see plans get underway to improve the facilities at Kings Park Bowling Club to create a combined activity and learning hub. The skills and learning offer already on site will be retained and enhanced, and the council will work with the existing landlord to take the plans forward. There will be no change to the indoor bowling arrangements for 12-18 months.
New open spaces for people to relax and enjoy, and where events can take place will also go ahead at Boscombe precinct.
“Councillor Mark Howell, acting leader and portfolio holder responsible for regeneration, BCP Council, said; “I am delighted our transformational plans for Boscombe have been recognised. We have been working closely with our local communities, business, education and private sector representatives to create an ambitious vision for Boscombe centre and neighbouring parts of Bournemouth so to receive this accelerated investment is recognition that the government has confidence in our place making plans.
“Now more than ever, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we need to demonstrate our collective vision for the area, and this is a rare opportunity to secure the major investment Bournemouth needs. The wider funding would help to create new jobs and be focused on regenerating the high street, delivering family housing, enhancing digital connectivity, developing skills and culture, and promoting community.”
Bournemouth is one of 101 towns across the UK on track to secure a new ‘Town Deal’ which could see a significant investment of around £25million in each place. To secure the funding a draft Town Investment Plan for Bournemouth is being drawn up and is due to be submitted to government at the end of October.
Under the plans the Sovereign Shopping Centre would be replaced by a contemporary mixed use neighbourhood of streets and high quality commercial units and homes. There will be a brand new purpose built public square where a dedicated programme of festivals and events would bring people together. These buildings could boast mixed use commercial, retail, leisure and residential elements all working side by side.
Preserving and enhancing the setting and use of unique heritage assets such as the Royal Arcade feature prominently in the plans with ambitions to bring the Royal Arcade back into use by seamlessly combining contemporary new work space, skills and learning as well as arts and culture in this historic yet under used building.
Haviland Road between Palmerston Road (Lidl) and Haviland Road West could be restored as a street with generous pavements, cycle lanes, bus stops and tree planting all leading up to a new community hall and gardens where people can relax.
Providing better infrastructure to encourage more active travel and improving the links between Boscombe town centre, the seafront, Pokesdown Train Station and AFC Bournemouth could also be funded through the investment.
Overall around 560 new homes, 6,700sqm of retail and leisure floor space and 4,800 sqm of commercial, community and health floor space have been earmarked as part of the long term plans which aim to strengthen the local economy of Boscombe and revitalise the area as it builds for the future post COVID-19.
For further information on the draft Town Investment Plan please visit bcpcouncil.gov.uk/townsfund.