Town secures £1million funding for masterplan to make it 'thrive'
- Credit: CPCA
One million pound in capital funding has been secured to help Whittlesey “thrive” and “deliver a number of key projects for the town”.
New interactive highway signs giving vital alerts to drivers and a new heritage visitor centre are just two of improvements for the Fenland town.
The Whittlesey Growing Fenland Masterplan Project has successfully secured the full £1million of capital funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).
The ‘masterplan’ is one of four separate projects for each market town – Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Wisbech.
They have been led by Fenland District Council with Cambridgeshire County Council and combined authority representatives, and stakeholder groups made up of town, district and county councillors and business and community representatives.
Leader of Fenland District Council and cabinet member for finance, Cllr Chris Boden, who is also a town, district and county councillor for Whittlesey, said the investment was fantastic news for the town.
He said: “The Whittlesey Masterplan has taken into account the views of local residents and businesses and helped to identify what our town and local economy needs most, and I’m excited to see the great work already progressing as a result of the plan and the combined authority investment.
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“Whittlesey, like towns across Fenland, Cambridgeshire and the whole of the UK, is under unprecedented pressure right now but this funding will go some way to supporting its Covid recovery while benefitting residents and businesses and attracting visitors too.”
The first Whittlesey project approved by the CPCA Board was a £57,500 application for Interactive Highway Signs, which will give vital alerts to drivers when local roads are closed due to flooding or roadworks.
The three signs are currently being fabricated and are due to be installed in their approved locations and working by early summer.
One of the town’s most ambitious projects is to build a new Whittlesey Heritage Visitor Centre to showcase local artifacts and the history of Whittlesey from Bronze Age to modern day.
This £500,000 project will be sited adjacent to the Kings Dyke Nature Reserve on land to be leased by Forterra plc.
Whittlesey Town Council, who will be managing the project, have already approached four local architects inviting them to submit innovative designs which meet the project brief for a stunning eco-friendly building.
Linked to the new Whittlesey Heritage Visitor Centre will be a new Whittlesey Heritage Walk.
Finally, local businesses will soon be given the opportunity to apply for capital funding grants of up to £10,000 to support them with growth plans and Covid recovery, as well as help to protect and create local jobs.
The Whittlesey Growing Fenland stakeholder group, along with the other three Growing Fenland stakeholder groups in the district, have also allocated £100,000 of their funding to help deliver a district-wide Civil Parking Enforcement project.
All groups are keen to tackle poor parking across the district and further details of this complex scheme are being worked up with external partners.
Cllr Dee Laws, town and district councillor for Whittlesey and Chairman of the Whittlesey Growing Fenland Stakeholder Group, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Whittlesey has successfully secured its full share of funding from the Combined Authority’s Market Towns Programme.
“Investment at this level is a huge boost for the town, funding a vital highways improvement, capital grants to support our businesses and a fantastic new community facility and walk that will celebrate our heritage.”
For more information on the above projects or the Growing Fenland Masterplans, email: firstname.lastname@example.org