Ambitious plans to create a sustainable and vibrant future for Folkestone town centre are moving forward
The council has begun work with a consultant team to design and develop priority projects set out in the Folkestone Place Plan, which was approved by the council in September 2021.
The work will include engagement with partners, stakeholders and the local community on the detail of the projects which may be part of an application for the government’s Levelling Up funding. This provides support for local authorities to deliver transformational investment into town centres.
The Place Plan identifies six ‘missions’ for tackling Folkestone’s ‘Grand Challenge’ and creating a town centre fit for the future. These missions include celebrating what’s good, a town centre for the future, a place for all voices, moving sustainably, accessing opportunity and delivering sustainable quality.
Sustainability is at the heart of the Place Plan, alongside improvements to transport and movement in the town centre. Sites and buildings that can be repurposed or redeveloped are also identified in the plan.
Six priority projects which are to be the focus of the work are – the Folkestone Central rail station arrival and town centre connections, the gateway into the town centre and Bouverie Square, the public realm of Sandgate Road and the town centre, the area around the new skate park F51 and Payers Park, bringing forward the Harbour Line and reconfiguring Tram Road and improving Sunny Sands.
The consultant team is being led by We Made That which successfully worked with the council to develop the Place Plan.
Cllr David Wimble, Cabinet member for the district economy, said: “It is exciting to see that progress is being made towards achieving our ambitions for the future. We Made That will work with us to build on the vision set out in the Place Plan and bring forward detailed proposals that will complement the ongoing investment in the town centre being made by businesses and the community.”