Over 900 responses to Front Street engagement

The council has thanked local businesses and residents after it received just over 900 responses to an engagement exercise on the future of Front Street in Acomb.

Last month, the council sought the views of residents and businesses on new ideas for Front Street in Acomb, with an engagement exercise that ran from 26 February and closed yesterday (24 March). There were a range of ways people could get involved, such as completing online or paper surveys and a number of engagement events in the community.

Residents, visitors, businesses and other stakeholders were invited to share their views and priorities, and provide feedback on initial ideas to improve the area including:
• enhancing the area, creating a more people friendly space
• extending the benefits beyond the high street to better connect local amenities
• creating a more accessible destination, for example through generously-sized pedestrian crossings and accessible Blue Badge car parking
• considering longer-term aspirations, including potential pedestrianisation.

The consultation followed confirmation in October 2023, that £570,000 of UK Shared Prosperity Fund money was approved by Executive for phase 2 improvements to Acomb Front Street.

Councillor Pete Kilbane, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Transport and the Economy said: “We are hugely grateful to everyone who took the time to complete a survey, attend one of our events or shared their thoughts with us in other ways.

“To have so many responses is fantastic. We all want what is best for Acomb and Westfield, and we will now take time to analyse all the feedback and ideas we have had, so that we can develop a design that works for the community.

“The hard work now starts to fully design a scheme that will meet the shared ambition to support economic growth and develop a thriving, welcoming and accessible environment on Front Street and beyond.

“This is the latest step in that journey. While designing this phase of work, using the funding available to us, we will continue to look at any further opportunities to attract more funding which would allow us to deliver on some of the longer-term ideas and aspirations that have been clearly fed back to us.”

The council will now analyse the feedback and it will shape design proposals. These will be shared with the community and taken to an Executive meeting in the coming months.

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