Wisbech gets another shot in the arm as first brick laid for Awdry House, a �6.5 million new county council building

THE first brick has been laid for Awdry House, a �6.5 million Cambridgeshire County Council building that will make it easier for people to access children’s services in Wisbech.

The development is part of a larger �13 million investment on the College of West Anglia site.

Awdry House complements a �7.2 million technology Centre being built for the college students and also part funded by the county council and Fenland District Council.

Councillor Nick Clarke, the county council leader, laid the first brick with College of West Anglia apprentices Ryan Gunns of Emneth and Josh Santoro of Wisbech at the site today. They were joined by representatives from the college, Fenland District Council and contractor Morgan Sindall who are building the centre.

The public voted on the community Shape Your Place website to name the centre Awdry House after the famous creator of children’s favourite Thomas the Tank Engine.

Rev Wilbert Awdry (1911-1997) was Vicar of Emneth near Wisbech from 1953-1965 and was also the author of the famous ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ children’s books.

The council says the connection is important as Awdry House will deliver a range of Children’s and Young People’s Services from the building, which will also be co-located with a number of partner organisations.

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The new office will replace several outdated properties in the town (4-6 Stermyn Street, 100 Churchill Road and the Queen Mary Centre) and will be located adjacent to the College of West Anglia.

The multi-million technology block project is being part funded by the county council (�5 million) and Fenland District Council (�1.5 million) and will include state-of-the-art workshop facilities for engineering, motorsports, motor vehicle engineering and electrical and electro-technical programmes. The building is expected to be completed by Easter 2013.

Cllr Clarke said: “Awdry House not only brings a range of children’s services into one place but also provides the opportunity for other organisations to join us. It is part of a multi-million pound investment, including the new technology block, designed to help boost the economy in Wisbech.

“This is just part of the work going on as part of the Wisbech 2020 Vision that will help the communities in the town and surrounding area.” County councillor Simon King said the new building “will save taxpayers’ money and provide better facilities. A great result all round”.

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