Work to start on March’s Broad Street regeneration
The next stage of March town centre’s multi-million pound regeneration is set to forge ahead this month.
The works are being delivered with over £6million from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and £3.6million of funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, awarded to Fenland District Council.
The Combined Authority funding comes from two sources – £2million from the Market Towns Programme, and a further £4.2million from the March Area Transport Study (MATS).
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport and lead member of the March Future High Streets steering group:
“I’ve said it before, but this really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for March to reverse the decade of decline that has affected high streets up and down the country, and revitalise its town centre now and for generations to come.
“There’s been a huge amount of investment from a number of partners to bring this transformation to the fore, and I’m excited to see it progress further in the coming months.”
Contractor Octavius will begin work on the Broad Street transformation in late June, following major underground gas and water main upgrades by Cadent Gas and Anglian Water over the past few months.
It’s the next step in a programme of inter-related schemes being delivered by various partners to transform and futureproof the town centre for years to come.
The primary build of CityFibre’s £5million super-fast broadband investment – offering service to over 8,500 homes in the town – was completed in March and the March Market Place refurbishment works were finished in April.
Next is the Broad Street project, which will transform the existing road layout and public space with new seating, trees and planters, new street lighting and new zebra crossings to improve pedestrian safety.
The two existing northbound lanes and traffic lights will be replaced with a single lane in each direction and a new mini roundabout, improving traffic flow and reducing delays at all approaches to the junction. This will also improve air quality in Broad Street.
Work will take around 12 months to complete, with the new roundabout and road open in Spring 2024, and the public realm works to follow. The changes will include:
- Sensitively relocating the Grade 2 listed ornamental fountain.
- Creating a new stepped seating area overlooking the river.
- Refurbishing the stepped access around the War Memorial and the steps leading to the river.
- New planters, constructed of monolithic stone, and tree pits, incorporating root systems and uplighters.
- The provision of two new bus stops and four new zebra crossings.
- New street lighting, architectural lighting and pop-up power supplies.
- Drainage improvements.
- Installation of new signs and road markings.
The old Barclays Bank, recently purchased by Fenland District Council with funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund for redevelopment, has been let to Octavius for use as a site office during the works. Being based on site will ensure greater efficiency and less disruption and also offers cost savings across the Broad Street scheme.
The Broad Street regeneration is part of Cambridgeshire County Council’s March Area Transport Study, the wider programme of transport interventions funded by the Combined Authority to address existing capacity and safety problems across March and accommodate future growth.