What if you could see the future of your town without leaving your seat? That’s exactly what hundreds of people did in Folkestone last weekend, thanks to some amazing virtual reality technology.

They hopped on a magic carpet and flew over the town centre, checking out the exciting changes that are planned for the next few years. They zoomed over Middelburg and Bouverie Squares, where buses will be moved to make room for a green public space.

They glided down Shellons Street, where a new park will replace a busy road. They soared up Guildhall Street and Sandgate Road, where a new link will make it easier to cross the road into town.

The magic carpet ride was part of a public engagement event held at Bouverie House Business Centre on Friday and Saturday (17 and 18 November 2023). The event was organised by Folkestone – A Brighter Future (FABF), the project that aims to improve the town with government Levelling Up money.

After landing from their flight, the passengers were invited to view display boards, ask questions and share their opinions on the second phase of the FABF project. They also got to enjoy some refreshments and chat with other residents about the future of Folkestone.

Cllr Rich Holgate, Cabinet Member for the District Economy said: “The virtual reality flypast has been a tremendous way of giving residents and visitors a real insight into the proposed changes.

“We were particularly pleased that young people from Folkestone schools were able to join us. Their reactions were inspirational, and they did not hold back in telling us what they wanted to see in the town centre!

“Thank you to everyone who visited the event. We hope it helped give you some insight into what is being planned as well as the opportunity to give us your opinion.”

For those who missed the flypast opportunity – a video version will soon by published on the council website where the display boards can also be viewed and a link to a community survey requesting feedback on phase two.

Feedback from phase two will be considered by the project design team and any alterations and changes published. Changes made after the phase one engagement and can also be viewed on the council website.

By Ed

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