St Neots Riverside area has already seen a number of recent improvements, including the development and opening of the Riverside Miniature Railway (RMR) which operates as a Community Interest Company (CIC) and is run entirely by volunteers. Since opening in 2017 it has received overwhelming support from the St Neots community, SNTC, HDC and many local businesses that have helped fund its development.
This has greatly increased footfall to Riverside Park and has subsequently benefited the Ambiance Cafe also located there. As a result, the café has re-opened the pitch and put in the park, further adding to the leisure offer for visitors. They are also considering bringing back a rowing boat hire service on the boating lake. This illustrates the latent potential of the Riverside area.
The construction of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge for St Neots Town Centre was therefore identified as a major opportunity in the Masterplan and has also been prioritised as part of the Combined Authority’s Priority Transport Schemes. As part of this process, the bridge has been evaluated through the Combined Authority’s infrastructure funding criteria and is therefore included as part of the infrastructure programme.
The wider opportunity now is that this new bridge will be brought forward in line with the strategic context of the Masterplan, as a result, this scheme has been combined with another Masterplan recommendation to create a more attractive riverside area. This wider scheme will now play a key role in linking the Market Square with the riverfront and will include; the new bridge, an improved riverfront paths linked to the bridge, this will also include the provision of a riverfront bandstand (linked to the project to deliver an enhanced events programme).
The latest developments in this project can be found on the Cambridgeshire County Council website.