Future looks bright thanks to Aspirations for Biggleswade plans

'We needed to put together a plan which responds to how the town is going to change in the future'

By Joanna Gravett
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 2:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 2:34 pm

The future is looking bright for Biggleswade thanks to a new set of plans approved by the Town Council.

Councillors recently adopted a new 'Aspirations for Biggleswade' document, which lays out a range of improvements to be initiated between now and 2025.

Action points include: an upgrade for all 16 play areas, new allotment plots, a new strategy around CCTV, upgrades to the cemeteries, and potential changes to tennis courts and sports facilities.

Photos: Cllr Fage.

Councillor Grant Fage, Deputy Mayor, told the Chronicle: "This is something which Biggleswade Town Council has put together. It's basically our corporate strategy between now and 2025, and everything we plan to deliver.

"Every council has a corporate strategy - [our] previous ones were put together in the mid 2000s and mid 2010s.

"Since then, Biggleswade has grown and new plans have come forward from Central Bedfordshire Council, so we needed to put together a plan which responds to how the town is going to change in the future."

Cllr Fage stated that plans to upgrade the play parks are already being progressed, while the Town Council is keen to upgrade its CCTV with "really high spec" cameras.

"We have a role to play in protecting our town centre," he said. "The [current] cameras are fine, but we want something that's top of the market, that would enable them to pick up a slightly wider range."

Meanwhile, the plan also focusses on preservation, with aspirations to preserve conservation areas, commit to the weekly Charter Market, implement a green infrastructure plan, and create a "broader place shaping strategy".

The green infrastructure plan has been drafted by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) and details important green spaces in the town such as the allotments, and Jubilee Wood.

Cllr Fage said: "The plan has been endorsed by the Town Council and we will be making commitments [to it] in our Neighbourhood Plan, which we hope will be passed by referendum in the summer this year.

"It will offer serious protection to our green spaces in that they will never be able to be built on so long as the plans are in place."

The Town Council will now be considering which plans to prioritise first, with plans for the play area upgrades already underway.

It is hoped that all projects will either be completed or initiated before 2025.

Cllr Fage added: "We adopted Aspirations for Biggleswade in December and we are very ambitious for the town.

"We would love to hear feedback about which part of the plans people feel most strongly about."

The council and its Finance Committee have instructed staff to apply for a Public Works Loan of over £1million, which is a "very reasonable rate" with "not very high interest", with pay back potentially staggered over decades if needed.

To read the Aspirations for Biggleswade corporate plan, visit the Town Council's website.

You can also call the Town Council on 01767 313134 and request a copy to your address.