Team takes a step towards the East

HOPES of a breakthrough with Wisbech’s thriving Eastern European community are high as members of the recently formed Wisbech Town Team gear up for a meeting with representatives this week.

News of the possible major step forward was announced at the third meeting of the Town Team on Wednesday at Wisbech Council Chambers.

Interest in the group, set up to get Wisbech back on track, is still strong with more than 30 people attending the meeting, which also acknowledged the huge support from local media including the Citizen, as well as organisations and politicians.

The Team’s three working groups are still progressing with their individual ideas for the bid being made at the end of the month for funding from the Portas Pilots initiative.

It is hoped Wisbech can win a slice of the £1,000,000 up for grabs under the initiative launched in the wake of a report by shopping guru Mary Portas on ways to breathe life back into High Streets up and down the country.

The funding is set to be dished out to 12 towns who come up with the best schemes to regenerate their High Street.

The Team is also working on plans for a dedicated website, promoting its work, raising awareness and improving communication with local people.

Given its longer-term plans beyond the Portas bid, which needs to be made by March 30, the Team has continued to investigate possible funding sources.

It is also keen to hear from small businesses or individuals involved in arts and crafts-type activities, with speculative interest in taking space within a larger, tourism-based retail unit.

The individual Team groups are also due to meet this week to refine their Portas innvoations, while the next full meeting is scheduled for Thursday March 22 at Wisbech Council Chambers.

For the time being the Team can be contacted c/o Wisbech Town Council, North Brink, Wisbech PE13 1JR or by email through wisbech@aol.com.

In the meantime current Team leader Jaqui Fairfax, who initiated the Portas bid, was out and about in Wisbech on Wednesday talking about the Team’s aims with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

The interview is scheduled for broadcast for the afternoon of Tuesday March 20.