Over half a million pounds is to be ploughed into driving through an ambitious pivotal scheme to revamp and regenerate Lutterworth town centre.
An in-depth masterplan to make the heart of the fast-expanding town beat even better for both local people and visitors was backed unanimously by Harborough District Council last night (Monday).
The bold strategy to fire up Lutterworth’s town centre into a more vibrant, dynamic place over the next decade will now begin to gather real pace after being given the go-ahead.
Cllr Janet Ackerley, a Conservative councillor for Lutterworth East, told the full council meeting: “There are a lot of good proposals here.
“It’s only right that we are concentrating on the Town Hall.
“The museum is moving into that area, it will attract a lot of people.
“This will definitely enhance Lutterworth – let’s go forward with this as soon as possible.”
Some £400,000 from a Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Business Rates Pooling grant topped off by £130,000 from the council’s Capital Programme is being pumped into the long-term urban initiative.
Cllr Rosita Page, who represents Ullesthorpe, said: “This has been a long time coming.
“I’m very pleased it’s finally here.
“There’s £530,000 of investment and that’s a great deal of money to enhance the town centre.
“This masterplan will enhance the town centre, promote tourism and inject more footfall as well as making it better for residents,” said the Conservative councillor.
Cllr Phil Knowles, who leads the council’s Liberal Democrats, said: “I’m happy to see the enhancement of Lutterworth.
“But it’s important that we see clarity in what’s happening.
“We need to see what we are spending the money on.”
Cllr Phil King, the council’s leader, told members: “There is still a lot of work to be done.
“We are not going to do anything that would compromise road safety or pedestrian safety.
“This is the start of a journey to improve Lutterworth.”
The wide-ranging project will set out to “enable greater access to the town centre and redress the balance between people and cars”.
“The Masterplan aims to provide an overall framework to make the town centre more attractive, by strengthening its market town character.
“The frameworks will include high quality design, street hierarchy and public realm initiatives using a mix of street furniture, signage, soft and hard landscaping and possibly public art in ways that integrate with the historic conservation area,” said the council.
“Linking the town centre to its surrounding areas is vital to make this a place that local people will choose to visit.
“The Masterplan is designed to ensure that Lutterworth Town Centre is an active destination.
“The Plan considers the means of getting to the town centre, living in the town centre and ensuring accessibility for all ages and abilities.
“There should be a much greater focus on the Market Place and Town Hall car park area to reinforce this as the historic focal point of the town, particularly with the new Lutterworth Museum being developed in this area.”