Creating a wow factor for Wisbech town centre
16:11 17 June 2014
Ideas to give Wisbech High Street the wow factor were supported with enthusiasm when local people got involved in two public events.
Several hundred people visited Fenland District Council’s trailer in Wisbech Market Place to give their views on High Street regeneration and how they would like to get involved.
Councillor David Oliver, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for dilapidated buildings and renaissance, said: “We were delighted with the reaction on both days, which was hugely positive. Everyone we spoke to wants to see something happen in Wisbech that they can be proud of.
“The responses to some of our ideas were split between creating a small town centre park and doing something that has a real ‘wow’ factor.”
Comments were invited on 14 community activities. People showed particular interest in ideas for a new heritage construction course at the College of West Anglia to help local people gain the skills to work with heritage buildings.
There was also strong support for staging events to show off the town’s heritage, including community archaeology digs and opening up historic buildings currently closed to the public.
The consultations were organised by Fenland District Council, consultants Ingham Pinnock Associates and the Wisbech Society. They are working with about 20 local groups to put together a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for cash to help revitalise the High Street.
Particular emphasis is being placed on restoring number 24, the former Cook’s Butchers, and bringing numbers 11/12 back into use.
Ray Johnson, chairman of the Wisbech Society, said: “The response we had on both days was absolutely fantastic, with a lot of people coming in to town specially to give us their views. People were tremendously supportive.”
The initial bid is due to be submitted to the HLF this summer as the first stage of a lengthy application process.