£1m bid to improve appeal of Leighton town centre

Pigeons around the Market Cross in Leighton Buzzard
Pigeons around the Market Cross in Leighton Buzzard

A pigeon-proofing scheme, upgrades to the market and electronic signage boards all feature in a £1 million bid to enhance Leighton Buzzard’s town centre.

Leighton-Linslade Town Council has thrown its hat in the ring for cash from a Central Beds Council fund designed to reinvigorate market towns across the county.

If successful LLTC will secure £500,000 from CBC, which it will match with £500,000 of its own money.

In its application to CBC the town council has outlined eight improvements it intends to make to the town centre.

Among them is the relocation of the taxi rank, a free public Wi-Fi network that will be available from one side of the high street to the other and a ‘tourist historic legacy feature’ which could be similar to the children’s trail in the town centre.

LLTC also intends to set up a Business Improvement District – an area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers to fund projects which will benefit firms.

Town council head of economic development services, Vivien Cannon, told the LBO: “This is not only about enhancing the town centre for residents and businesses, but also to attract tourism and celebrate what we have here which is unique.

“We have a conservation area in the town centre.”

She added: “When we were approached by Central Beds Council our members met and discussed ambitions, then we as officers explored what had potential.”

A decision on LLTC’s bid is expected next month.

All projects under the match funding scheme would be completed by April 2018.