Central Bedfordshire Council today (September 12) signed up for £6.2million of government funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), to help further the regeneration and re-vitalisation of Dunstable town centre.
The government funding is specifically for investing in infrastructure that will support much-needed new housing in Dunstable.
Part of the money will be used for a brand-new artificial pitch in the town. The current one in Court Drive has been closed for some time. Providing a replacement facility elsewhere will effectively release all of the derelict land behind GoBowling, including the present pitch, for regeneration.
There is potential for the land to be used for a brand-new integrated health and social care hub as well as housing. The new hub would not only provide modern facilities for GP practices, but patients could also be able to access a range of other relevant services at the hub too, such as social care.
The funding will also be used to clear derelict and disused buildings in the town centre, and prepare the land ready for development. In total, this should help to bring forward 400 new homes in and around the town, including affordable homes and specialist homes for older people.
The investment will also help Central Bedfordshire Council continue its work to reshape and redesign the High Street and make other improvements to town centre roads, particularly where derelict buildings are being regenerated.
The council has been making changes to the High Street to encourage the public to spend more time in the town, making it safer to cross and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. Around £250,000 of the money, alongside other sources of funding, will be used to help make further improvements and install extra flood-prevention measures.
Cllr Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, explained: “The confirmation of this funding is good news for Dunstable: it will unlock derelict sites for redevelopment. This in turn will help to revitalise the town centre and keep it a vibrant place where people want to spend their time.”