Residents of St Neots are being invited to think about how creativity, data and emerging technology can support the growth of the town.
A ‘Future Takeover’ event, happening from 24-26 January, will explore the vision for the expansion of St Neots and its creative sector, considering the town’s long-term future and how citizens can help to drive this change.
The event, organised by Cambridge-based arts & technology company Collusion, will look at the role technology can play in creating a ‘smart’ market town, and the impact it could have on issues such as air quality, the future of transport, public services and market town life. The sessions will also consider the importance of the cultural and creative industries in creating a thriving community.
It follows the launch of the St Neots Smart Places Initiative in November, which brought more than 250 responses from residents who took the opportunity to share their views on key challenges facing the town.
The Smart Places team on behalf on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is keen to continue working with local people to discover how smart solutions can encourage the continuing development of this thriving market town.
The Smart St Neots project is being funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, in collaboration with Huntingdonshire District Council, St Neots Town Council and local community group the Neotists, and aims to address some of the challenges identified in the St Neots Master Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan.
Hosted at the Art & Soul Café, the ‘Future Takeover’ event offers evening and daytime activities so everyone can get involved:
- Thursday evening (24 January) will explore the development of the cultural and creative industries sector in St Neots, including opportunities for growth and future skills needs. Speakers will include cultural strategist and producer Sherry Dobbin and Managing Director of the Bradfield Centre James Parton, plus a film about The Neotists created by Christian Payne and Adrian Storey. Plus there will be free pizza and cake to help your creative thinking! This event will be ticketed.
- Friday evening (25 January) will delve into the vision of expansion for the town and how the public can help to drive this change. Speakers include Andrew Chetty from Umbrellium and Prof John Miles from the University of Cambridge, along with Urban & Civic and Huntingdonshire County Council, who will address the future of transport, public services, and market town living. This session is also ticketed.
- Saturday daytime (26 January), drop-in event will consist of talks, workshops and gaming for all the family plus a maker fair, showcasing the talents of the local Neotists network. No need to book – just come along on the day!
Feedback from these events will help to highlight the key issues for St Neots, and areas where smart projects may be able to assist with issues concerning the community. The next step will see the Smart St Neots team look to create funding proposals for the Combined Authority to consider alongside on-going and planned Master Plan works for St Neots.
There’s also still time to pin your views on the interactive Smart St Neots map (you will need to register, providing an email address and login).