Our Market Towns
In July 2020 Huntingdonshire District Council submitted a bid into the Future High Streets Fund for St Neots. The bid is an ambitious plan to improve a number of local places in the town centre which include providing greater access to the riverside, improving the public realm and visitor experience as well as helping to realise some local regeneration needs. Support packages for the other three towns will be developed by March 2022 which will explore potential uses of space and the town centre offer in the future.
Following COVID-19, footfall levels are down, and online shopping habits have increased to double the amount in 2019. Short term interventions on the Opening of the High Street and capital investment of £1.5M by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority will be made by the Council through to March 2022.
A Business Improvement District is being pursued in St Neots, with one already in place in Huntingdon.
Our Key Priorities
Businesses like certainty and predictability, they do not like the instability or the unknown. Most businesses want to thrive and grow where they are situated. However, if future growth can be better served in another location or geography, then a business may look to re-locate. In both cases, it is sensible to help create conditions within a local eco system that will encourage business growth. Pre-pandemic the Huntingdonshire economy was valued by the Centre for Research at the Judge Business School at approximately £10 Billion p.a. It has been a strong and growing economy since the financial crash of 2008 and as such, there is every reason to be optimistic about our chances of recovery and future growth following Coronavirus and during the next five years.
Conditions for growth
Made up of digital connectivity, transport links, environment and affordable housing, land and buildings, branding and promotion and targeted business support - conditions for growth is a key focus for the Economic Development team and is at the forefront of what we aim to deliver. As a benchmark to measure success, a significant benefit of Huntingdonshire is the excellent road and rail infrastructure and further developments will follow in the shape of the A428 upgrade and East West Rail.
Fuelling our economy
Fuelling economic growth is achieved by working with the strengths that Huntingdonshire already possess and we have identified both digital and innovation as the key themes to removing any glass ceilings which currently inhibit our levels of productivity. The use of utilising networks to encourage knowledge exchange is another method of fuelling our economy as some of the best innovation and business progression occurs from leveraging networks. Whether this, be by means of business networking or more structured knowledge exchange programmes. There are a great number of resources and means in which local businesses can acquire more knowledge and Huntingdonshire District Council through the Economic Development Team will help establish a number of online and offline resources where businesses can find the best environment and networks for their needs.
Maximising our skills
Using skills strategy to maximise human capital potential stems from Huntingdonshire District Council being visible by contributing to a partnership approach to adult re-training & skills support, highlighting our 'Next Generation a 2025 Vision' by establishing an effective presence in specific settings to support and inspire future generation and bidding for skills programmes which is a consideration in order to align with the other values listed on this page.
Supporting our business sectors
We aim to offer support and advice to our key business sectors in the district by signposting to events, business funding, property relocation and available training programmes. The core sectors in Huntingdonshire consist of Advanced Manufacturing, Mid & Low-tech Manufacturing, Digital, Agri-tech and Construction & Utilities.
View full the Huntingdonshire Economic Strategy here.