Time for town to look to future, says pasty boss
A PROMINENT Bodmin businessman has urged the public to support the town's regeneration plans for the sake of future generations.
Cornwall Council put the town's revised Bodmin Town Framework before the public at a consultation event last month.
The chairman of pasty company Proper Cornish, Phil Ugalde, believes that now is the time for the people of the town to unite and decide how to move forward.
Mr Ugalde, who is also chairman of the business-led Better Bodmin organisation, was encouraged by the consultation.
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"Of those we spoke to, 99 per cent are really up for this and really excited about what they saw," he said.
"This will be great for generations to come if people come with us.
"If we can all agree on the infrastructure, then I think Bodmin has a great future. To say I'm excited is an understatement."
Better Bodmin, formed in February 2011, aims to influence the development of the town's economy.
Mr Ugalde believes that it's not just about benefits for the present population but also for future generations.
"We have ignored the future for far too long; we have to think long-term and not just short-term; we have to think about future generations, not just ourselves.
"Now is our time; other towns have received investment and been transformed. There aren't many towns with sites like Bodmin in the centre that can be developed; most town centres are very built-up with little green areas."
As well as viewing Cornwall Council's proposals, residents were able to view Better Bodmin's concept plans for the town centre at the two-day consultation.
The organisation jointly commissioned local architects Arco2 to draw up plans for retail, leisure, culture and public open spaces based on past consultations and the views of the business community.
Some of the more eye-catching aspects of the Better Bodmin proposals include plans for a Camel Trail welcome point on the corner of Cardell and Berrycoombe Road and a "green" multi-storey car park behind the Public Rooms.
"There are plans to implement some of it, not all of it, and we've taken on board what previous master plans were and learnt those lessons," Mr Ugalde said.
He added that he was "quietly confident" that Bodmin will be chosen to receive EU funding if the public can agree on how to move forward.
"The council is very, very serious about these plans for Bodmin. There are other towns bidding for funding but, as a whole, Bodmin's plans are far more advanced.
"I'm quietly confident that if we can all agree on a way to move forward, the council will get to work on implementing the plans."