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Have your say on regeneration of Wisbech

Wisbech 20-20 update Steve Barclay MP, David Rudlin, Peter Simpson, John Clarke, Graham Hughes and Neil Darwin ANL-151206-171635009
Wisbech 20-20 update Steve Barclay MP, David Rudlin, Peter Simpson, John Clarke, Graham Hughes and Neil Darwin ANL-151206-171635009

People in Wisbech are being urged to have their say on how the town should look beyond 2020.

The people behind the Wisbech 2020 vision are running a consultation in the coming months on the future development of the town.

The partnership, which includes councillors and private firms such as Anglian Water, will be running roadshows in schools and community groups between June and October. The results will be revealed next spring.

Marine related regeneration, river crossings and a tidal barrier, along with a country park and possible bypass are among the ideas being suggested but the organisers want to hear more from residents.

Anglian Water’s chief executive Peter Simpson said this is a wish list aimed to bring people to the town.

He said: “It is your town. You are the people who live and work here. We want to hear what you think Wisbech should look like beyond 2020.

“We have to have a vision beyond 2020 to lift ambitions and develop the real potential of the town.”

Wisbech has potential to be really successful was the message from an update of the Wisbech 2020 project on Friday.

Fenland MP Steve Barclay told the session in the Boathouse that the town could develop as a commuter town along with highlighting its food production and being the gateway to the North Norfolk coast, along with having the only port in Cambridgeshire.

He added: “I have long felt that there is huge potential there.

“There is some scope there to develop a marina and not just with a retail offer, but a spin off to agriculture.”

David Rudlin, who won the Wolfson Economic Prize in 2014, outlined the challenges and options facing modern towns.

Mr Rudlin said: “All the ingredients are here with large employers. With the things being done the sky is the limit in terms of where Wisbech can go.”

Cambridgeshire County Council’s executive director for economy, transport and environment, Graham Hughes, gave an update on the technical work being undertaken on efforts to reinstate the rail link between Wisbech, March and Cambridge.

The council’s contractors Mott McDonald are due to be issuing a report shortly and work is to start on the next stage of the project, which is estimated to cost £80,000.

Mr Hughes said: “Things that will hold up this project will not be the technical work. It will be unlocking the capital and revenue funding.”

Another priority for Wisbech 2020 is getting improvements to the A47.

He said currently there is not a business case, using Department of Transport methodology, for dualling the A47 between Wisbech and Thorney.

As previously reported, the Guyhirn roundabout is in line for improvements.

- Questions being posed in the new consultation are: What should Wisbech look like by 2040? What potentially could enable change? How bold and ambitious should the long-term vision be?

Email: w2020vision@fenland.gov.uk

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