Suffolk town is a national beacon

A SUFFOLK town has been picked as a national beacon to show others how to provide more jobs, housing and services for their residents.Newmarket, famous as the home of-horse racing, is one of just six towns across the country to be picked as a beacon town by the Countryside Agency.

A SUFFOLK town has been picked as a national beacon to show others how to provide more jobs, housing and services for their residents.

Newmarket, famous as the home of-horse racing, is one of just six towns across the country to be picked as a beacon town by the Countryside Agency.

It is hoped that other market towns will learn from Newmarket's example in the way it has overcome problems traditionally faced by rural communities.

Richard Wakeford, Countryside Agency Chief Executive, said Newmarket had been chosen for its potential to show others the way forward.


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He added: "Our research shows that our country towns face many challenges. They also have great potential, not only as traditional service centres, but also as centres for tourism and new business.

"The Beacon Towns' stories will be used to inform the work of other town partnerships around the country, and to influence policy makers and local, regional and national organisations interested in sustainable rural development.

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"The six we are announcing today will demonstrate ways to tackle the problems many rural communities face - learning from and sharing the results are the core of the Countryside Agency's work."

Newmarket was chosen from more than 200 other towns which took part in the Countryside Agency's Market Towns Initiative.

In particular, the town was chosen for its focus on providing affordable housing, which it identified as one of the community's major issues.

George Lambton, chairman of the Newmarket Town Partnership, said: "We are very excited that Newmarket has been selected as a Beacon Town.

"Housing provision was one of the top priorities identified by the community in our recent healthcheck.

"Above all, we see the beacon project as an opportunity to bring together all the different interests in the town who care about affordable housing and want to work together with housing developers to provide homes for key workers in the community."

The other five new beacon towns are Brigg (in North Lincolnshire); Carterton (Oxfordshire); Keswick and Longtown (both in Cumbria) and Thirsk (North Yorkshire).

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