Ely scoops market town funds from Combined Authority


Ely scoops market town funds from Combined Authority

Ely walked away with thousands of pounds in development money today when members of the Combined Authority Board approved three East Cambridgeshire District Council project proposals received under the Market Towns Programme.

A total sum of £344,000 of Combined Authority funding was approved by members.

The first grant is £120,000 for a project to expand the ageing CCTV infrastructure in Ely, which has match funding from Ely City Council of £150,000. The grant will enable the city to complete the second and third phase of its CCTV upgrade. Phase 1 installed 27 cameras and Phase 2 will install a further 12. Phase 3 will facilitate the use of three temporary cameras for events like festivals and concerts.

The second grant of £100,000 goes towards improving the look of Ely, with a capital fund to which businesses can apply for smartening up building frontages around key parts of the centre.

A third grant of £124,000 is also about enhancing public space in Ely, a major visitor destination with its cathedral, river, and heritage as Oliver Cromwell’s birthplace. The Combined Authority has in the past awarded Ely £214,000 for improving street furniture – bins, benches, shelters, signs, and walkways – around the city, but this new funding is to cover ‘shortfalls’ following feedback from Ely locals.

To date, there have been five funding calls under the Combined Authority’s Market Town Programme (September 2020, November 2020, January 2021, March 2021 and June 2021) with 41 projects being approved by the Combined Authority Board, awarding a total of £10,866,348 in grant funding – and attracting an additional £11,605,295 of partner match investment.

Two further funding calls are scheduled for January and March 2022. It is intended that the remaining £2,602,150, of the £13.1m of direct investment committed to Market Towns by the Combined Authority, will be fully allocated by the end of this financial year.