Preparation work underway in first step of plans to transform town

The work starting on Thursday (November 11) in March town centre is part of the March Future High Streets Fund.

The work starting on Thursday (November 11) in March town centre is part of the March Future High Streets Fund. - Credit: Fenland District Council / ARCHANT

Plans to regenerate a Fenland town will take a step forward this week when preparation works for the first project get underway on Thursday (November 11).

One of the schemes in the £8.4million March Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) work is to transform the underused riverside, opening it up to bring the picturesque river area into the heart of the town. 

On Thursday, the lower branches of trees behind March town centre’s toilet block in Broad Street will be removed to increase visibility of the river. 

The work is expected to last a week. Afterwards, the ground will be cleared and wildflower planting will commence on both banks later this month. 

Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for social mobility and heritage, said: “It’s great to see the first steps getting underway in what will be a series of fantastic, transformational projects for the wonderful market town of March. 

Crown lifting works will be carried out to trees located behind the toilet block in Broad Street, March.

Crown lifting works will be carried out to trees located behind the toilet block in Broad Street, March, to increase visibility of the river. - Credit: Fenland District Council

“The investment will help us improve residents’ and visitors’ experience of the town and ensure it remains stable, sustainable and thriving for years to come. 

The March FHSF work will deliver five projects by the end of March 2024. They are: 

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  • Transformation of Broad Street, creating a welcoming pedestrianised open space in the centre of town. 

  • Opening up the riverside areas into Broad Street, improving visibility and access. 

  • Redevelop the historic Market Place, re-instating historic features close to the town hall and refreshing the car park. 

  • Regeneration of the Acre Road area, creating a new gateway development to link existing historic assets with the town centre. 

  • Reactivating vacant units and delivering a flats over shops programme – a grant programme to support owners in bringing vacant shops into use.

Cllr Jan French, deputy leader of Fenland District Council, said: “The future high streets work is a once in a generation opportunity for our town. 

“I’m delighted that we will soon start to see the tangible differences it will make to local people, businesses and visitors. 

“It’s all about making the town centre somewhere people want to visit to shop, eat, drink and relax.” 

For more information on the March Future High Streets project, visit the council’s website

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