Future focus on Wisbech

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GOVERNMENT leaders have spoken of their plans to “turn up the wattage on Wisbech” as part of the Wisbech 2020 Vision.

At a press conference held in the Boathouse on Friday, three tiers of government came together to discuss where they are with the ambitious plan of action for the Fenland town.

There were representatives from Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, with leaders Alan Melton and Nick Clarke both attending. North Cambs MP Steve Barclay was also at the conference to lend his support.

All three men have been involved in the 2020 Vision since its conception and are passionate about helping the town evolve and grow over the coming years.

Cllr Clarke said: “I see, behind the scenes, huge amounts of energy. There is so much going on and I think it’s going to make a real difference.”

Not all the action is planned for the future. Cllr Melton said work is planned in the next couple of months to tidy up the Nene Regeneration Front. Up to £30,000 has been put aside for the work, which will see improvements to the lead-up to the Boathouse and the hoardings and the overgrown area behind the hoardings cleared.

“We are going to make it look and feel much better,” he said.

A series of workshops have been on-going and eight key themes have been identified – the future economic role of the town; transport, infrastructure and town centre regeneration; stronger families and communities; social cohesion; pride, reputation and image; leisure, culture, cycling and tourism; housing; and education, skills and aspiration levels.

Public consultation is planned for September and will see “genuine consultation” at ground level, listening to what people think of the plans and what they want to see happen. The details are still being worked out, but it is anticipated that the consultation will be held in the town centre to gain maximum exposure.

A number of organisations have already expressed their support for the project and there are many projects in the pipeline.

Academics from the University of Cambridge are already on board and have agreed to take on a detailed analysis of the town’s future economic role. There have been talks with NIAB (National Institute of Agricultural Botany) about the possibility of holding a ‘trade day’ in the town to showcase the skills we have to offer. The Department for Communities and Local Government have also expressed an interest in coming along to the Vision Summit in October.