Milestone in the masterplan brings community benefits with SV2G

An early milestone in Wycombe District Council’s masterplan for High Wycombe was reached today (Tuesday 13 September), with the official opening of the revamped underpass between Buckinghamshire New University and the town centre.

The underpass, which is now three times wider than it was, has been brightened up with paintwork and new energy efficient lighting, as well as being resurfaced. It is another step in the Council’s long term vision of providing an open and attractive connection between the town centre, the university and the hospital. Funded largely from a section 106 contribution from Bucks New University’s Gateway development, the new look underpass also provides a new home for community group SV2G, who are leasing the premises adjacent to the underpass from the Council.

Cllr Hugh McCarthy, Wycombe District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability, commented: “The Council’s long term vision is for the Abbey Way Flyover to be removed. The widening of the underpass is an “early win” that shows our long term vision is already guiding our decisions on investment in shorter term improvements, creating a better connected and more attractive town centre for residents, visitors and other users. What’s more, we are delighted to be able to provide a new home for SV2G as a result of the improvements.”

Prof Ruth Farwell, Vice Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University, said: “Our Gateway building is designed both as a gateway to the University and to High Wycombe and the completion of the underpass is a very welcome improvement which will benefit everyone who uses the route through the Campus. We welcomed around 1,500 graduates, plus their friends and families, to High Wycombe last week for graduation ceremonies taking place in the Wycombe Swan Theatre, and the revamped underpass made a big difference to their experience of the town centre.”

Jacqueline Roberts, Chair of SV2G, added: “Today marks the successful partnership between the Council and SV2G. The School of Steelpan will be the first National centre to offer accredited courses and National qualifications.

“With assistance from the Council, SV2G has been able to secure partnerships with Art Council England, The Associated Board for the Royal School of Music and the University of the West Indies as part of the Arts Council England Building the Future project for SV2G. The project has already secured over £60,000.oo in funds in order to deliver a lasting cultural legacy.”

Local people are invited to have their say about the Council’s future plans for High Wycombe town centre in a planning consultation which ends on Friday 14 October. Planning officers will be available to answer questions on the masterplan from 5 to 8pm on Thursday 22 September and 11am to 3pm on Tuesday 27 September at High Wycombe library.

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