Preparations are under way in Fenland to win millions of pounds worth of Combined Authority investment for the district’s four market towns.
The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, led by Mayor James Palmer, last month agreed to more than double the amount of investment for its Market Towns Programme – with £13.1million now available to inject into the region’s market towns.
The Combined Authority funding has been put on the table to support the delivery of 11 market town Masterplans, with around £1million being ringfenced for each of district’s Growing Fenland Masterplans - Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Wisbech.
Towns are now invited to submit bids for the Combined Authority cash to help them unlock their potential and bring their ambitions to life.
The Growing Fenland Masterplans each contain a number of proposals to maximise regeneration and make the towns more vibrant and attractive places to live, work and visit.
Stakeholder town teams, comprising local government, business, community and youth representatives, have held virtual discussions during the coronavirus pandemic to prioritise which proposals should progress to the key bidding stage.
As the Fenland district continues to reopen for business, the teams have also considered how the Masterplan ambitions can support Covid-19 economic recovery and help the towns to become even more Covid-secure.
Each Growing Fenland bid will go before Fenland District Council’s Cabinet for review, before being submitted to the Combined Authority in the coming weeks and months.
Councillor Ian Benney, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Growth:
“The Combined Authority’s investment strategy is enabling Government resource to reach right into the heart of our region, creating and delivering Masterplans that will help our market towns to thrive for years to come.
“Our Growing Fenland Masterplans have identified what our towns need most and revealed huge opportunities for sustainable growth, better transport, improved accessibility and more skills training across the board. Hopefully we can secure some of the funding available and work with the Combined Authority to help turn ideas into reality.”
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, James Palmer:
“I’m eager to see the Combined Authority funding in action, bringing benefit to the area. Putting money to work across these four market towns after decades of underinvestment is an absolute priority for the Combined Authority. This is only the beginning and I’m confident that the successful bids will open up fantastic opportunity for this unique region and help realise the potential.”