PEOPLE will have more say on the future of Uppingham after the town was selected to try out a new Government scheme.
Uppingham was named as a front-runner area on Wednesday after business group Uppingham First put in a joint bid with the town council and the neighbourhood forum.
Rutland County Council also supported the bid, which was submitted in July.
Becoming a front-runner area means the town will get up to £20,000 to put together a neighbourhood plan - an action plan where people can say what they want to see in the town and includes everything from the locations of shops, offices and schools to deciding what open spaces people would like protected.
If 50 per cent of the people voting in a local referendum approve the neighbourhood plan, then the county council must bring it into force and consider it when making decisions.
Secretary of Uppingham First Ron Simpson, who put together the front-runner bid, said he was “pleased” the town had been named a front-runner area.
He said: “We thought it would be ideal for Uppingham because we have done lots of work on the parish plan and Uppingham 2025, which both have ideas.
“But this neighbourhood plan will build on those because we can come up with firm proposals.
“It gives us lots of possibilities, which is very exciting.” He said he hoped the community would get involved at the referendum to ensure the success of the neighbourhood plan.
Ron said: “It has significance because it is the community that is having a say. It is all part of the Localism Bill and it is exciting.”
Ron said he hoped the neighbourhood plan would be put together over the winter with a view to having the referendum in the spring.
Rutland county councillor Terry King (Con), who is responsible for economic development, said: “Rutland County Council welcomes the news that Uppingham is one of the front runners for the neighbourhood planning scheme.
“We look forward to working closely with the community in Uppingham to help promote economic growth within the town.”
Uppingham was announced as one of 36 front-runner areas in the fourth wave of applications. There are 126 across the country.