Stowmarket: New group set to look at economic vision for town with thousands of jobs and homes set to be created

The town sign in Stowmarket

The town sign in Stowmarket - Credit: Archant

The first steps have been taken to launch a new group designed to guide a town’s economic development.

Stowmarket is set to receive its biggest injection of investment since the 19th Century, according to the town’s chamber of commerce chief Peter Down.

New jobs could be created and thousands of new homes built across various major developments which are predicted to take place.

And now Mid Suffolk District Council is working with colleagues at town council level on a new “place shaping” steering group.

David Blackburn, clerk for Stowmarket Town Council, said the proposals would have to be developed further but the group could focus on a wide range of areas.

He said: “Place shaping is about how the town develops, what resources it requires, what capacity it’s got in terms of local community, local economy and local environment.

“It’s also about what facilities are required, what improvements there should be to community infrastructure and how the town encourages inward investment.”

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The groups have already been set up in Sudbury and Hadleigh. But it would seem that Stowmarket Town Council wants to look at the best way for the group to operate.

A town council paper says: “There are clearly lessons to be learnt from previous collaborative ventures in the town and the views of members will be sought at the council meeting about how place shaping can best be achieved.”

Mr Blackburn added the group had “nothing to do” with an existing organisation, Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership, which has a main focus to increase footfall in the town centre.

He said: “It’s nothing really like that, it’s far more strategic in its approach.”

Lesley Mayes, Mid Suffolk’s portfolio holder for the economy and Stowmarket regeneration, said the steering group plan was at an early stage.