The first of the District Council’s parklet pilots will be installed in the coming weeks in Ramsey, with the further rollout of the scheme to follow.

The parklet will be located on Great Whyte outside the library in Ramsey and will offer residents the first look at what a parklet can offer to town centres. It will include a seating area, planting, a bike rack and an information board that will be populated after the installation.

Parklets are small, designated areas that not only provide a place for visitors to the town centres to relax but also a host of benefits to the high street. Research suggests that these small parks can actively increase footfall to local businesses, support active travel in encouraging people to leave their car at home and walk, clean air with pollution absorbing plants, and help people feel safer by reducing traffic speed on the roads in which they are located. They are also ideal for showcasing local businesses and bringing people together through shared space and conversation.

Executive Leader of the council, Cllr Ryan Fuller, said: "The parklet project is just one of the many schemes that we are delivering, in conjunction with local stakeholders, following our successful bid for COVID-19 Recovery Funding. We have already introduced electric vehicle parking and town heritage walks through this funding opportunity and will continue to pursue other projects to ensure that our recovery work continues to make Huntingdonshire a great place to live, work and visit."

Executive Councillor for Operations and Environment, Cllr Marge Beuttell, said: "Parklets will offer additional seating within the town centres, providing places for people to connect with friends and family. It is an opportunity to transform a small space and have a big impact, both in terms of look and the economic benefits of inviting more people to dwell for longer."

The installation for the parklet in Ramsey will begin on Wednesday 20 October and signals the first of two in Ramsey. Following the pilot, an additional parklet will be installed in Ramsey (location to be confirmed) and two parklets will also be installed in St Ives in the proposed locations of the bus station and near the Oliver Cromwell statue on Market Hill.

The parklets will be maintained by the District Council, however, the opportunity for adoption of a parklet by a local group or business is being explored for promotion and to help look after its planting. If you are interested in finding out more about parklet adoption, please email openspaces@huntingdonshire.gov.uk.