RESIDENTS got the chance to have their say on a visionary masterplan aimed at bringing in more than 24,000 jobs and £3 billion of investment into Southampton.

A new world class waterfront, a remastered city centre and a transformed railway station are just some of the developments residents cast their eyes over as Southampton City Council tried to gauge reaction to its plans for the city over the next 25 years.

Many of those taking an interest at the public display of the plans for Southampton’s future, at City College, were optimistic about what can be achieved and welcomed the regeneration of the area, but some had their doubts over whether any of it would become a reality.

Consultants have been paid £230,000 to draw up a masterplan for the city, bringing together an array of multi-million-pound developments to rejuvenate the city centre and make it an inspiring place to work, visit and live.

At the top of many residents’ agenda was to focus on making the St Mary’s area feel part of the city centre again, as over the past few years they feel it has become isolated from the West Quay side of town.

Other eye-catching improvements include a revitalised railway station quarter, a new business district to attract major national and international companies, a new world class waterfront at Royal Pier and a far-reaching regeneration plan for areas of the city centre such as a fruit and vegetable market between Oxford Street and the Old Town.

Helen Pearce, part of the special planning team at Southampton City Council, said: “This is the second stage of the plan and we really want to hear as many people’s views as possible.

“We are looking to the future and although times are hard now, that will change and we need to have this framework in place so investors can see that the city council knows what it wants to do.”

Stella Meesters, from Planning Aid, which is spearheading the project with the council, said: “This is an exciting process and it is crucial that residents have they say and share their views on the future of their city.”