Plans to transform Long Eaton town centre submitted to Government in the hope of £25m investment

Ambitious plans to transform Long Eaton town centre have been submitted to the Government for the once-in-a-generation opportunity to win £25million of funding.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 5:02 pm

Proponents of the the investment plan say it is one of the most important documents in Long Eaton’s history, which sets out to build on Long Eaton’s rich heritage and recast it as a vibrant, modern town.

Richard Ledger, chairman of the town deal board, said: “This is about creating exciting projects for the future prosperity of the town and seizing the opportunity to deliver that vision.

“We couldn’t have done it without the input of local residents and our business community, so our thanks go to them.”

Long Eaton could see £25million of Government cash over the next ten years if a local investment plan wins approval.
Long Eaton could see £25million of Government cash over the next ten years if a local investment plan wins approval.

The plan outlines three key priorities for the next ten years: to improve transport access, including for walking and cycling; to build on the town’s worldwide reputation for manufacturing; and to make it attractive to new opportunities as a great place for people to live and work.

That will be achieved via a number of individual projects, which would ultimately amount to spending of around £30m.

If all goes according to plan, the layout would be changed at the traffic congestion hotspot around the Green, relocating bus bays and restricting certain vehicle movements.

Improvements to the High Street would include moving the market back to its historic site in Market Place, restricting vehicle access to permit holders only, and new paving and planting.

The former Box Office cinema, which is now derelict, would become a cultural hub, featuring a café, gallery, and auditorium for performance, film screenings, conferences and other arts-related social events.

The disused former Galaxy cinema on Derby Road would be redeveloped into a four storey residential building aimed at young professionals.

The Grade II* listed stable block at behind the town hall would be converted into small business units.

Proposals to upgrade the cycle and walking network, include an overhaul of the Broad Street bridge between West Park and the town centre, a new bridge over the canal at Britannia Road, and lighting along the cycle route through West Park.

A new West Park waterfront area would bring moorings for commercial boats providing food and drink along the Erewash Canal, with seating allowing visitors to enjoy the atmosphere and better facilities throughout the park for public events.

In the event that HS2 is routed through the town, the plan calls for the permanent closure of the low-level rail line to avoid congestion at level crossings on Main Street and Station Road.

The board wants to stop the town being effectively cut in two by diverting all rail traffic to the high-level line crossing the town on bridges, but that will require a new connecting chord at Trent Junction.

Erewash Borough Council leader Councillor Carol Hart, who is vice-chair of the town deal board, said: “The driving force behind all of the work is that we want the very best for Long Eaton. The board is proud of this plan, which is the result of an excellent community-wide effort.”

For more details, go to longeatontowndeal.org.

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