The Future High Street Fund
Regenerating Newton Abbot
A longstanding desire to secure landmark buildings and reinvigorate the centre of Newton Abbot took a major step forward when in Spring 2019 we successfully bid for a share of the Government’s £1 billion Future High Street Fund (FHSF).
The Council secured £9.2 million funding and the project’s updated business plan identifies that the multi-million-pound investment would realise a wider economic benefit to the town of £42.3 million, boost property values and create 41 new FTE jobs.
What will the new town centre look like?
The regeneration plans build on the 800-year history of Newton Abbot as a market town, creating a modern centre that embraces sustainable travel and encourages people to shop, buy, eat and socialise locally. Our aim is to boost footfall and increase spending in the town, supporting local businesses.
Space for community, artistic and cultural activities will be created alongside a revitalised market, food hall and Market Square. A new state-of-the-art cinema will be built and significant improvements made to Queen Street and the National Cycle Network Route.
At an extraordinary council meeting in November 2022, Councillors agreed to remove the Alexandra Theatre building from the FHSF regeneration plans. This meant that:
- The wall between the market hall and the cinema is being retained
- A smaller entertainment space will be created
- Greater retail diversity will be pursued, including a food court
We are currently working on the detail of these revised plans and are engaging with traders, local organisations and community groups as these evolve so that we can maximise the shopping and cultural experience. We plan to hold a public exhibition of these proposals when finalised.
A planning application for the proposed new four screen cinema has been submitted and discussions continue with cinema operators.
Alexandra Cinema building
Having removed the building from the FHSF plans, no decision will now be made on its long-term future until the new cinema is built.
The Grade ll listed building has been classed by the Council as an Asset of Community Value so time will be allowed for community or voluntary sector groups to bid for it. It is envisaged that if the building became vacant it could be offered for rent, on a long leasehold or sold and that the building could be used for arts and culture, food and drink, live music and events.
Last summer, local people were encouraged to comment on proposals to make Queen Street a more attractive, safe and healthy place for visitors and businesses.
Among the consultation proposals were giving shoppers more space to access shops and services by widening pavements; improving crossings; more planting and public seating; and introducing a 20mph speed limit between The Avenue and Courtenay Street. The proposals would be achieved by localised parking reduction.
A consultation report prepared by Devon County Council’s transportation planning team showed that the proposals were largely supported.
Three Traffic Regulation Orders were subsequently produced as the first step to implementing the proposed improvements. Residents and businesses were able to comment on these Orders last autumn
In the light of the feedback received discussions are taking place with key local stakeholders and HATOC is expected to consider the next steps this Spring.
National Cycle Network Route 2 (NCN2)
This project focuses on improving the quality of the stretch of NCN2 that serves the central area of Newton Abbot and connects into wider leisure routes and commuting provision for active travel. The improvements include better provision for safety at junctions, greater legibility for the route so it’s clearer and easier for users to navigate, widening and protection of the cycle lane through Cricketfield car park. Project delivery should be possible within the next 12-months, and we will share further details on this in due course.