Cross-party board agreed for Welwyn Garden City regeneration plans

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 August 2019

The idea of a partnership board for the town emerged after a a long list of stores had turned down the chance to take over the flagship Debenhams site. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.

The idea of a partnership board for the town emerged after a a long list of stores had turned down the chance to take over the flagship Debenhams site. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin.

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Councillors in Welwyn Hatfield have formally agreed to set up a cross-party board to focus on the future of Welwyn Garden City town centre.

Deputy leader of the council and executive member for resources Cllr Duncan Bell recognised that the retail environment had become significantly more challenging over time. Picture: DANNY LOODeputy leader of the council and executive member for resources Cllr Duncan Bell recognised that the retail environment had become significantly more challenging over time. Picture: DANNY LOO

Council leader Tony Kingsbury outlined the idea of a partnership board for the town last month, after "a long list of stores" turned down the chance to take over the Debenhams site.

On Tuesday, a meeting of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's cabinet formally agreed it should be set up and build upon the success of the Hatfield Regeneration Member Board.

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It will take forward all the regeneration plans for the town centre, including the plans for the Welwyn Garden City North site which has been awarded £6.1 million from Homes England.

The partnership board will build on the success of the Hatfield Regeneration Member Board. Picture: DANNY LOOThe partnership board will build on the success of the Hatfield Regeneration Member Board. Picture: DANNY LOO

READ MORE: Plans announced for Welwyn Garden City regeneration in wake of Debenhams departure concerns

"The leader has a strong desire to engage with all political groups to shape our proposals to deliver more homes, retail space and better infrastructure in the heart of our garden city," says the officer's report to the cabinet.

"It is therefore recommended that a cross party member board is set up to oversee the Welwyn Garden City town centre regeneration."

Meanwhile the council will also be looking to set up a wider 'partnership group', that will include key partners such as the Herts Local Enterprise Partnership, the business improvement districts, John Lewis and Oaklands College.

This group, says the report, would focus on strategic issues covering healthcare, skills, employment and transport infrastructure linked to the regeneration plans.

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