Key Information

The aims of Leiston CLT have been established through engagement with the local community via a number of surveys and consultations, principally, the Neighbourhood Plan consultation.

Annual General Meetings

Since we were incorporated in October 2018 we have been holding an annual meeting to conduct the business associated with the organisation in conformity with our Rules and the requirements Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Papers from these meetings can be found on the Annual General Meeting Page

Leiston Neighbourhood Plan

See the plan HERE.

The Neighbourhood Plan was created following comprehensive and lengthy community consultation. It considered numerous aspects of Leiston ranging from its history, infrastructure, facilities, employers, housing stock, heritage and even its socio-economic profile. Its objective was to identify the challenges that face the community of Leiston Parish and then, as far as is possible, seek to address those challenges.

The challenges facing Leiston

In summary, these challenges were identified as:

  • Housing. Identifying land in the most suitable locations, to ensure that Leiston's housing needs were addressed.
  • Infrastructure. Recognising that the infrastructure in Leiston has not kept pace with its growth over time. Furthermore, there is a need to ensure new growth is appropriately supported by new infrastructure (e.g. community and leisure facilities). 
  • Town centre. Seeking to retain and improve the vitality of the town centre as a place for residents to address their shopping and service needs and for tourists to visit. 
  • Community activities. Addressing the need to provide more community activities. These will encourage particularly young people and families to stay in the parish. For example, green space and community facilities, including children's play and youth facilities.
  • Commercial activity. Recognising the value of existing businesses and trying to provide for their needs. This will ensure their ongoing presence, along with recognising the importance of providing opportunities for new businesses to locate and create jobs in Leiston.
  • Transport without the use of a car. Encouraging the reduction of car use in the town by promoting and enhancing walking and cycling and also improving public transport.

Vision Statement

As a result of the Neighbourhood Plan a vision statement, articulated by the community of Leiston, was formed. A complete copy can be found in the Neighbourhood Plan, which is available as a download. Some of the key comments from the Neighbourhood Plan that helped to inform the CLT's mission are highlighted below.

“That the town focuses its efforts on strengthening the range of services that it offers to its residents and businesses. This is particularly the case on the High Street, with the redevelopment of the former car park to offer a modern town centre where people come to meet, shop and enjoy their leisure time.”

“Leiston understands that it is not a tourist town but has still sought to make the most of the parish’s visitor assets, both in terms of its historic legacy (including the Long Shop and Leiston Abbey) and its special countryside, leading down to the sea.”

“Whilst looking to retain its young people through the provision of smaller, more affordable housing, Leiston also looks after its older and disabled residents by building housing appropriate for their needs.”

Statistics: People and Places

The CLT's aims were further informed by a survey, commissioned by East Suffolk Council, and executed by People and Places.

Carried out in 2018, the purpose of the report is to understand the issues faced by Leiston town centre. The report identifies future priorities for sustaining and enhancing the town's vitality and viability. As a result, it is intended to inform future partnership work and project development between public bodies, private businesses and community groups.

Their investigations and surveys provided some interesting and informative statistics:

  • 11% of business units were vacant
  • Leiston had no fashion retail whatsoever
  • Less than 6% of the retail units in Leiston were classed as luxury retail (the lowest figure in East Suffolk)
  • Leiston was one of the few East Suffolk towns that did not enjoy the benefits of a weekly market
  • The town centre footfall in Leiston was one of the lowest of any East Suffolk town
  • Finally, Leiston has the highest number of unoccupied car parking spaces in East Suffolk

These statistics reinforced the principal aim of the CLT – to regenerate Leiston town centre.

A full report is available here.

For more statistics on the town of Leiston, including population demographics, economic prosperity and housing, read the Suffolk Observatory overview report here.

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