New study to explore proposals for enhancing Sudbury town centre and boosting economic growth
A town official has warned that complacency is not an option if Sudbury is to continue thriving in the future.
Ambitious proposals designed to enhance the town centre, while promoting sustainability and economic growth in the area, are being explored in a new study jointly commissioned by Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council.
Conducted by WSP consultants, the study will assess projects set out in the Vision for Prosperity, a document outlining key proposals for local development.
A large part of the project will focus on delivering a redevelopment of the Hamilton Road quarter to create a major residential and leisure complex aimed at unlocking a new night-time economy.
The scheme will also play a key role in establishing Market Hill as a focal point of the town for hosting community and cultural events.
Plans to develop a sustainable transport system in the area will involve assessing proposals to replace the existing bus station with on-street facilities, alongside a series of road improvements at key junctions in the town, including Station Road and Great Eastern Road.
Praising the project, Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “This joint town centre study with Suffolk County Council and other local partners will help us move another step forward in the revitalisation of Sudbury’s town centre and the surrounding area.
“We want to ensure the town centre remains relevant and that we work towards the best outcome for the whole town and the communities that are dependent on it.
“The outcome of the study will allow us to make informed decisions going forward, to shape the changes needed for growth, encourage businesses, attract new investment and improve the provision for residents and visitors.”
Recognising Sudbury has remained relatively prosperous amid mounting trading conditions, town council clerk Jacqui Howells (pictured) has warned further investment in the area is vital to ensure the town continues to thrive.
“Despite the decline in town centres up and down the country, Sudbury continues to buck the trend with a relatively low number of empty retail units and exciting developments at Gainsborough’s House and St Peter’s,” she said.
“However, we must not be complacent and the town council developed an Ambitions for Sudbury Town Centre document last year, with plans to ensure the continued vibrancy of our town.
“We welcome the study commissioned by Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council and will work closely with them to bring these plans to fruition, which will ensure the long term viability of our town.”
Plans to tackle air pollution and congestion in the town are being explored, while a scheme involving the removal of six parking bays in Cross Street over a period of 18 months will take effect from January.
Reflecting on the project’s joint approach to revitalising Sudbury and the surrounding area, Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: “This work provides the opportunity to work collaboratively on options not only to improve Market Hill, the heart of the town centre, but also enable the development of a key area of the town.”
The findings of the study are expected to be presented to the public at the beginning of next year.