‘COULD’ is a word we in Boston are hearing a lot these days.
The new tidal barrier, a snip at about £85m, ‘could’ give the town an economic boost of up to £500 million – which on the face of it sounds like good value for money.
However, this boost is dependent on a number of other features playing their part in the overall plan, apparently.
The barrier is to be the second phase of a waterway link; as a matter of interest is the first part still open? On a number of visits down the old London Road, past the pumping station where this first part ends, I have yet to see any boats. And as the barrier itself hasn’t yet reached planning permission stage, it seems the remainder of the link may be some years away.
The county council report which tells us what this investment ‘could’ bring also mentions a revitalised waterfront and the town centre regeneration (the only thing happening at the moment) and these three things together are likely to lead to a benefit of at least £230m and potentially up to £500m – how exactly?
The waterfront referred to I assume is the stretch from the Swing Bridge through to the new barrier, so is there anything in the budget to pay for the stretch to be dredged or cleaned up? I doubt many boatowners would be attracted there especially as it looks at the moment!
If everything which is intended goes to plan, it might just work out to the benefit of the town, that is, of course, provided we can assume more businesses can be encouraged to come to the town to fill the empty shops and we can persuade all the shoppers, who have disappeared as the result of the ongoing Market Place works, to come back. I daren’t even mention the words ‘parking costs’ as well.