Fleet Future

March 2017 – FLEET FUTURE WAVES GOODBYE!

After three years’ of hard work, the community group Fleet Future has successfully delivered on its mission! This small group of hard working volunteers has accomplished a lot during this period. When they came together in 2012, their first job was to consult the people of Fleet and develop a plan based on what they were told. The result was the 2013 Fleet Town Plan with its 17 recommendations – and Fleet Future members are proud that many of these have now been delivered.

Let’s look back at some of them!

People said there should be more Town Centre events to bring life to the town, so Fleet Future helped introduce the highly successful Fleet Fashion Show and the popular Fleet Food Festival (now an important part of Fleet’s calendar). They also developed the idea for the well supported Fleet Film Club which is now being organised and delivered by a “spin off” group of that name.

The need for better information about Fleet footpaths and cycle ways was identified as part of the consultation and, working with local experts, the Fleet Community Map project was developed to provide all this information on-line.

Fleet Future was active in supporting the formation of the Fleet Business Forum to meet the request that businesses work together for the benefit of the town. Formed in 2015, the Forum has been busy promoting a Business Improvement District (BID) for Fleet. Our local businesses have just voted in favour of this and the BID will lead to the investment of £750,000 in town centre improvement projects!

Connected with the formation of the Business Forum was a further recommendation that a market identity should be developed for Fleet. With Fleet Future’s guidance, this has now been developed and features in the Business Forum and BID publicity material. People said that information and signage in the town centre should be improved. This need has also been taken up by the Business Forum and now forms part of the proposed BID Business Plan.

The land centred on the civic offices and The Harlington was identified in the Plan as an area that should be developed for community benefit. Fleet Town Council already has plans for improving The Harlington facility and Fleet Future has been/is closely involved in the Fleet Neighbourhood Plan project being run by Fleet Town Council. They have developed a broad approach embracing leisure, entertainment, community and cultural activities in a plan to form a “community quarter” in this area of the Town.

Fleet Future members were asked to join the District Council’s “task and finish” group reviewing car parking facilities across Hart. As a result of this review, new parking charges have now been rolled out and plans agreed for a pay-on-exit system for one of the major town centre car parks.

The Town Plan contained several proposals for improvements to public transport in Fleet. Having won a grant from the government’s “First Steps” programme to look specifically at community transport, Fleet Future brought together representatives from the Town and District Councils, Communicare and Buses-in-Fleet to develop proposals for those without their own transport. This group is now looking at the wider provision of transport in Fleet and is working with the Transport-in-Hart community group.

Finally, the five empty office blocks in Fleet Road were causing concern and mentioned a lot in the consultation surrounding the Town Plan. McCarthy Stone have now built a prestigious retirement block on this corner of Fleet Road and Kings Road and the next block has been acquired for housing. The final two office blocks adjacent to Tackle-Up are in overseas ownership with, sadly, no immediate redevelopment in sight.

Chair of Fleet Future, Michael Butcher, said “Having accomplished our objectives, or passed the baton on to spin-off groups, Fleet Future is closing down with a sense of accomplishment! I would like to thank all our members for their hard work and would also like to thank everyone who we have worked with for the tremendous support they have given us during the past few years. We wish our town every success in the future.”

Fleet - our town

Our Town

People are passionate about Fleet. They love the friendliness of the people who live and work here, and they love the environment which Fleet is so fortunate to have. Our vision is to build on this to create a bustling, attractive, sustainable town.

learn more …