Once in a generation boost for Fenland town
- Credit: Archant
Decades of under-funding of Fenland will, in part, be addressed by £6.4m from the Government to revitalise the centre of March.
That’s the view of Mayor James Palmer who says additional support from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) “has helped March to land this prize”.
He said additional project funding had already been pledged by CAPCA to help strengthen the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) bid “and lever in the larger amount of funding from the Government”.
A total of £2million on top of the Government money will be spent in March, including £900,000 committed from the March Growing Fenland Masterplan Project, part of CAPCA’s market towns programme.
The investment will help to improve Broad Street, Market Place and Acre Road, the riverside areas and reduce town centre traffic.
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for social mobility and heritage, said: “This fantastic package of improvements is a credit to the Growing Fenland March Town Team, chaired by Cllr Jan French.
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“They have worked closely with CAPCA, March Town Council, the community and consultants to help collate and design the planned improvements for the town.”
Cllr Seaton said: “It really is a once in a generation opportunity that will transform March for years to come.
“It will ensure March remains a thriving place where people want to go, meet and spend their money. It will also help the town to recover from the pandemic while also driving long-term growth.”
Cllr French, deputy leader of Fenland District Council and county, district and town ward member for March, said: “Interest in the Future High Streets Fund was significant, with so many strong applications from local authorities across the country.
“I’m delighted to say we have now cleared the final hurdle. I can’t wait to see the projects come to fruition.”
The FHSF funding will support five major projects; these are:
Transformation of Broad Street, with more pedestrian space and less traffic and a focus on improving the public realm and shopper experience
Integrating the riverside areas into Broad Street, to improve visibility and access
Transforming the Market Place into more of a community space for markets, events and performances
Regenerating the Acre Road area into an attractive, multi-use development
Retail interventions to bring vacant units back into use, improve the façade of shops and attract more shoppers into town