The Growing Fenland project is part of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority's Market Towns Programme, aiming to maximise the regeneration of Fenland's market towns - March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey.
The Combined Authority (CPCA) awarded funding to Fenland District Council to create four separate 'Growing Fenland Masterplans for Growth' for each of the towns.
The masterplans examined the needs of each town and looked at how investment in education and skills, commercial and industrial development and new transport initiatives could help stimulate growth, create more jobs and support Covid recovery. They also identified potential improvements and opportunities for growth, developing a case to attract additional funding to help deliver their ambitions.
The plans were developed by leading economic analysts Metro Dynamics with dedicated Growing Fenland Stakeholder Teams in each of the four towns. These were led by Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and Combined Authority representatives, along with town, district and county councillors and business and community representatives.
The masterplans for all 4 towns were approved by the relevant town councils, Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and the Combined Authority from October 2019 to January 2020.
In June 2020, the CPCA Board approved its CPCA Market Towns Programme - Investment Prospectus 2020 and doubled the amount of capital funding available to each town from £500,000 to £1million.
The Growing Fenland Stakeholder Teams meet regularly to discuss specific projects to be delivered through the masterplans and submit bid applications to the CPCA to secure the £1million of funding allocated to each town.
A number of bids have already been successful, as outlined below:
|Funding from CPCA
|Match funding or additional funding
|Chatteris Town Centre Renaissance Fund
Refurbishment of street furniture and improvements to shop fronts in town centre
|40% of improvements to provided by property owners
|Chatteris Skills Development
ICT hardware and software to support skills development
|March Future High Street Fund
Improvements to March town centre
£900,000 of Market Towns Programme funding
£1.1million from CPCA
|£6.4million from Government's Future High Streets Fund
|Whittlesey Interactive Flood Signs
Interactive signs to signal when B1040 is closed due to flooding or roadworks
£8,000 from Whittlesey Town Council
£500 from Fenland District Council
|Whittlesey Heritage Walk
Heritage walk around the town of Whittlesey
Whittlesey Southern Relief Road
|Development of a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) for a relief road
|Whittlesey Heritage Visitor Centre
New visitor centre to showcase local artifacts and tell the story of Whittlesey
Approx £100,000 value of land gifted by Forterra PLC
£8,000 from Whittlesey Town Council
£1,666 from Fenland District Council
|Whittlesey Business Capital Grants Scheme
Grants scheme for Whittlesey businesses to help mitigate against the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (now closed to applications)
|Wisbech Business Capital Grants Scheme
Grants scheme for Wisbech businesses to help mitigate against the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (now closed to applications)
|Wisbech Market Place Enhancement Scheme
Modifications to Wisbech Market Place as part of a town centre improvement initiative
£50,000 from Wisbech Town Council
£150,000 from Cambridgeshire County Council's Communities Capital Fund
|Wisbech Footfall Counters
Provision of additional footfall counters for Wisbech Market Place
|Wisbech Replacement Shopwatch Radios
Replacement of existing Shopwatch radio scheme with digital system
|Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE)
Implementation of CPE throughout the Fenland district
|Fenland District Council (TBC)