Castle visitor centre included in levelling up funding bid
- Credit: Wisbech Tweet
Three projects – including a castle visitor centre – have been shortlisted for inclusion in a package to revitalise Wisbech.
They will form a bid for Government levelling up funding (LUF) and will included a commitment that at least one of the three will be “significantly underway” in the coming year.
The projects have been drawn up with consultants but Fenland District Council says councillors have agreed the three projects.
1: Wisbech Castle visitor centre and improved public realm linking the castle and market place.
2: Old market place including street greening and public realm enhancements between town centre and Nene waterfront
3: College of West Anglia - green skills centre
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Phil Hughes, interim assistant director, has drawn up a report for Cabinet that meets on June 13.
“These projects will bring significant capital investment into the town centre,” he says.
They will regenerate public spaces and offer skills development opportunities.
Mr Hughes believes they will ensure Wisbech has the “best ever chance” of using its heritage and cultural assets to make the town more attractive for those who visit or work and live here.
He said the criteria for funding shows the projects will have a “demonstrable impact on the local economy” which is fundamental for a successful LUF bid.
He said the College of West Anglia is looking to the Combined Authority for up to £2m match funding.
“This funding will form the necessary match funding required of a LUF bid,” he says
“The college project's inclusion in the council's LUF bid is contingent on the success of this further funding application.”
He says the Combined Authority are expected to sign off on the college funding by July 6 – a key date to ensure the LUF bid can be submitted.
The proposals for Wisbech following the decision last August by Cabinet to spend up to £100,000 developing a masterplan for Wisbech.
Consultants were appointed and the resulting projects fit the criteria of offering “compelling” economic benefits.
Cabinet will be also that in parallel with their work, MP Steve Barclay has commission a “piece of place shaping work - developing a narrative for Fenland.
“It is expected that this work will also be used in support of the Wisbech LUF bid submission.”