Shefford's Market Town Regeneration Fund initiatives
This initiative is designed to improve the town centre’s public realm and enhance its environmental quality by delivering new street furniture in keeping with the town’s heritage. Not only will this initiative enhance the visual appearance and appeal of the town centre but it will also act as a catalyst to encourage more street activity, events and promotions and deliver improved on-street information and way-finding.
The initiative consists of the supply and installation of 12 heritage quality columns along both sides of the High Street, together with matching recycling bins and planters. The columns will be used to attach hanging baskets, Christmas lights and banners to animate the town centre at appropriate times of the year.
This initiative will improve the town centre’s public toilets, which are well-used by shoppers and visitors alike but which are in need of refurbishment and essential modernisation.
We own Drover’s Spinney, a recreational amenity, ideally located in the centre of town. The spinney could be used to support the regeneration of Shefford as an attractive place to visit and spend a few hours. Improved access would create a very desirable ‘green lung’ running through Shefford by linking other green spaces along the River Hit to the south and the Millennium Green and Bellcote Meadow along the River Ivel to the north.
This initiative will include the removal / reduction of conifers along the border of the site with Morrison’s car park (which currently conceal the spinney), clearance of the area and minor landscaping, seating / picnic tables along the river and new signage / heritage interpretation panels.
Once delivered, we will transfer the asset for free to Shefford Town Council.
Gateway project and promotion of tourism
In order to create a sense of place and mark the arrival of visitors to an historic market town, Shefford Town Council will replicate its ornate town sign (which depicts key aspects of the market town including its 13th century market, steam railway, canal and fishing) and erect heritage style town entry signs on the five main routes into Shefford.
In addition, Shefford is also well placed for rural tourism. There are a number walking routes that begin and end in the town, while cyclists pass through as it is located on the Bedfordshire Scenic Route and is in close proximity to Chicksands Wood and Bike Park. The town council will explore opportunities to promote the town and signpost people to it from these and other key tourism attractions in the vicinity.
Shefford has a need to cater for its growing population, with approximately 200 more homes being built in the next two years.
The initiatives are designed to help fulfil the town’s economic potential, improve the quality of local life and create a vibrant and attractive town that will underpin sustainable growth and encourage inward investment.