Fenland businesses urged to back Waterlees funding bid

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Fenland businesses are being urged to support a project which aims to make a difference to a deprived Wisbech community.

The Oasis Centre and Cambridgeshire ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) are hoping to win a grant to help the Waterlees community.

Waterlees is the most deprived area in Cambridgeshire and suffers with unemployment and health problems.

The two organisations are hoping to run educational, health and wellbeing projects if they can win money from the Greater Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership.

The partnership has earmarked around £1 million of European funding for Wisbech.

But to be in with a chance of securing the money, they need support from businesses willing to donate money, time, skills or goods.

Manager of the Oasis Centre, Chris Stevens, says the project could help businesses and residents.

She said: “Businesses in Wisbech are expanding and we need to improve the skills and prospects of local people to give them opportunities they’ve not had in the past.

“It also helps businesses as they would have a bigger pool of potential staff.

“There has been so little investment in the community.

“We get grants to run one-to-one tuition sessions to help people read and write. You will be surprised how many adults have poor literacy.

“We also run a 10-week confidence course and the difference that makes to people is amazing.

“Any money we can get through the bid is going to make a big difference to people’s lives.”

The Wisbech Community Led Local Development Programme will be launched to businesses during an event on Wednesday, July 8, at the Oasis Centre.

Contributions are also needed from other community groups.

Any businesses which would wish to attend or would like to know more should email kirsten.bennett@cambsacre.org.uk