Government offers £6.4m to regenerate March High Street

MP Steve Barclay announced on Boxing Day that the Government has provided March with £6.4m for a major regeneration project 

MP Steve Barclay announced on Boxing Day that the Government has provided March with £6.4m for a major regeneration project - Credit: Archant

The Government is to provide £6.4m towards what MP Steve Barclay describes as “game changing investment” to regenerate March.  

The announcement was made today (Boxing Day) by Mr Barclay who said the money would also unlock significant regeneration opportunities. 

"A key priority for me is to secure additional Government investment for our area to ensure Fenland and East Cambridgeshire unlocks its full potential,” he said. 

“I am therefore delighted that, working with Cllr Chris Boden and Fenland councillors, county council leader Cllr Steve Count, and Mayor James Palmer, we have secured this game changing investment in March which will be a huge boost to the whole of Fenland.” 

He said it was the latest in a series of Government funding announcements in recent weeks benefiting Fenland and East Cambs. 

This included cultural support for the Angles Theatre and Luxe Cinema in Wisbech earlier this month, investment in the platform extension and eight carriage trains which started this month in Littleport, and the progress on the crossing at Kings Dyke in Whittlesey. 

“It shows we are successfully getting our message across to secure extra investment in our area,” said the MP. 

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The schemes for March will mean transforming Broad Street to include much more pedestrian space and reduce traffic and opening up the underused riverside areas providing improved access and seating. 

Other plans include redeveloping the historic Market Place to make it more of a community space, regenerating the Acre Road area and bringing vacant buildings back into use. 

Fenland District Council was told in July last year that it had been shortlisted for the final phase of its application to the £1 billion national pot, having been ranked among the UK's best initial bids by the Government. 

The project team, together with councillors, spent nine months developing the full business case in consultation with stakeholders, residents and partners including Cambridgeshire County Council, March Town Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Middle Level Commissioners. 

Last month Mayor James Palmer won approval from the Combined Authority Board for a raft of projects for market towns in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. 

On the table, some £1.5 million for Chatteris, Ely, Soham and Whittlesey, all seeking to increase their pull for residents, visitors, and businesses. Future-proofing and history are high on the town’s wish-lists, with heritage and digital connectivity, plus ideas for greener active travel and Covid-19 recovery.