£2m plan to regenerate Wisbech town centre

General View of Wisbech High Street ANL-140506-122700009
General View of Wisbech High Street ANL-140506-122700009

A community activity area, attractive shop fronts and affordable housing are some of the exciting plans for Wisbech town centre.

Fenland District Council is working with 20 groups in the town and Ingham Pinnock Associates on a plan to rejuvenate the town centre if an estimated £2 million Heritage Lottery grant is approved.

The dilapidated shop fronts at 11 and 12 High Street, which are listed buildings, could be given a make-over along with other buildings in the area. Some shop owners will be asked to make a contribution for improvements to their site.

The remains of the former Cook’s Butchers, which was destroyed in a fire 20 years ago, could become a community area to host a range of activities.

Consultant Russ Ingham said one idea is to create a “pocket park”. He added: “Groups could put on activities there such as concerts or even dramas.”

About 20 local groups are involved, including the Wisbech Society and the Octavia Hill Society, as well as Wisbech Town Council, the College of West Anglia and Thomas Clarkson Academy.

People in the town will be able to have their say on the plans by going along to a stall in the Market Place tomorrow (Thursday), between 8.30am and noon, or Saturday, from 9am-1pm.

David Oliver, the council’s cabinet member responsible for dilapidated buildings, said: “The amount of funding we can apply for is limited and to increase our chances of success we need to focus our bid on a project that we can deliver rather than spread it too thinly.

“That’s why we are concentrating on the High Street. If we can restore that area, it will help to improve the look and feel of the town and have a knock-on effect on other areas.”

What do you think of the plans? Email news@fenlandcitizen.co.uk