Dover’s Market Square is set for major improvements

Dover’s Market Square is set for major improvements after being selected for a £2.4 million government grant.  A bid to regenerate the area with lights, a new fountain, new seating an extended pedestrian zone was put on a reserve list in April.

I held talks with ministers at the Housing, Communities and Local Government Department in recent weeks, pressing them to fund two major schemes in Dover. Dover Town Team’s plans for £2.4 million, supported by Dover District Council, were given the green light in a letter to me on Wednesday (September 18).

I’m absolutely delighted to see us finally getting a fairer share of investment. I’ve been clear with ministers that Dover deserves better. For too long its vital role for our nation has been forgotten. But we are making progress – a new hospital, a new leisure centre, high-speed rail. Burlington House down, St James up and a new marina on the way. We’ve achieved a lot. Yet there is always more to do. We must build on the success to deliver the brighter future for our area we all want.

As well as the Market Square project, a bid for government cash for a pedestrian bridge over the A20 linking the town centre to the seafront has been shortlisted for a grant of up to £25 million. Dover District Council will receive £150,000 to draw up a full business case. I have been urging ministers to back both plans to help revive Dover town centre. Mr Jenrick wrote to me last week to say he understood Dover’s “unique challenges” – and that it “has the potential to be front and centre” of new government schemes.