A 20 year plan for investing in Basingstoke’s success
The economic master plan for Basingstoke 2033 sets out an ambitious vision for the next 20 years to ensure a thriving future for all those who live and work in the borough.
The master plan lays out all the major proposals for the future, acting a ‘shopping list’ of the key improvements that are needed to attract external investment, such as transport improvements and new business developments.
It will be used by the council to attract funding to the area from the government and the local enterprise partnership Enterprise M3, and to encourage companies to bring new jobs to the borough. At a more local level it will be used for joint planning of investment needs with Hampshire County Council and other partners, such as housing associations.
Developed in collaboration with other public service bodies, such as the county council, colleges, the hospital and the police and other organisations and businesses, the master plan aims to be a plan for ‘Basingstoke’ rather than for the council.
Potential major projects in the plan
The plan outlines a number of potential major projects that would benefit the economic growth of the town and would need funding.
- Area wide infrastructure improvements to support the economic development of Basingstoke would be associated with the Manydown housing development, funded by a mixture of government and developer funding. These could include a new secondary school for Basingstoke, a new country park and safeguarding the future potential to provide for a western by-pass for Basingstoke, potentially linking M3 Junction 7 to the A339.
- Hampshire County Council is currently undertaking detailed work on possible improvements to the A33 corridor, including changes to alleviate congestion at the junctions at Crockford Lane roundabout, Thornhill Way crossroads and Binfields roundabout. There are also plans for a Taylors Farm / Sherfield Park link road. The county council estimates that the works to the junctions would cost around £6m with the link road costing around £1.5m. In the longer term this could include turning the A33 into a dual carriageway
- A £5.5 million new railway station at Chineham in Basingstoke, would be dependent on new funding coming forward, agreement to relevant timetable changes with Network Rail and agreement with the train operator (currently First Great Western). The line between Basingstoke and Reading is due to be electrified in the near future which will increase the capacity for stopping stations on this line, acting as an incentive for network operators to serve a new station.
- The council is looking into the feasibility of working together with its Basing View development partner Muse to build new developments of ‘ready to move into’ flexible office space to meet demand from both large corporate companies and small and medium businesses. A specialist incubation centre is also being considered to encourage digital and high tech start-up businesses. Attracting a business class hotel to Basing View by considering the feasibility of using council funding for its development, subject to viability and a suitable operator being interested, is also being considered.
- Superfast broadband development is needed for commercial areas, especially for Chineham Park and Basing View.
- There are a number of potential regeneration sites within the Top of the Town area that are likely to need some public sector funding to deliver development that fits with current business and residential uses and turns the area into more of a destination of choice to complement Festival Place and The Malls.
- The current transport system for the town centre needs some strategic assessment and remodelling, especially to integrate traffic flow, cycling and pedestrian routes, rail and bus transport.
- The regeneration of the Leisure Park gives the opportunity to develop new uses and attract new investment, with land available at the eastern end of the park and possible through more efficient layout of the car parks.
Enterprise M3 draft strategic economic plan
The local enterprise partnership Enterprise M3 is bidding for government funding, with Basingstoke proposed to be a key site for investment. Basingstoke is one of the four main centres on what Enterprise M3 calls ‘the Sci:Tech corridor’ alongside Farnborough, Woking and Guildford.
These areas will be priority locations for road improvements to ease congestion on the main corridors into Basingstoke. Improvements to rail links to Reading and the Thames Valley, which could include Chineham station, are also included. The draft bid also includes money for business support and skills improvement in science, technology, engineering and maths related industries where there are skills shortages in Basingstoke.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has commissioned Hotel Solutions to carry out a hotel futures study aimed at assessing the potential for hotel development and investment in the area.
A full report is available to view below.