WISBECH: Council anger mounts as Government rejects kickstart funding for Nene waterfront

By John Elworthy THE Government dealt another blow to Fenland today as it refused to offer funding to kick start the delayed Nene Waterfront housing scheme planned for Wisbech. Fenland District Council had hoped to win approval to get on a short list of p

By John Elworthy

THE Government dealt another blow to Fenland today as it refused to offer funding to kick start the delayed Nene Waterfront housing scheme planned for Wisbech.

Fenland District Council had hoped to win approval to get on a short list of projects earmarked for Government funding to kick start hundreds of housing projects stalled by the credit crunch.

However an announcement by Housing Minister John Healey excludes any mention of support for the Wisbech scheme that would have provided 300 homes alongside the River Nene.

Councillor Geoff Harper, leader of Fenland Council, said: "This is not good news, particularly as it follows on from the recent announcement from the Learning Skills Council on the College of West Anglia in March and the cuts in the Housing Growth Fund, which may well impact on schemes in Fenland.

"We are also very concerned that funding is being diverted away from key growth areas such as Fenland and Cambridgeshire as a whole."

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He said the council was "extremely disappointed" that the housing development that forms part of the Nene Waterfront regeneration scheme has not been shortlisted as one of the projects earmarked for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency's Kickstart programme.

"This project continues to be a key focus for the council and its partners. "Consequently, there will be further dialogue with the HCA to explore the potential for gaining Kickstart support in the next round of funding in September."

Mr Healey said that 270 stalled development projects across the country have been shortlisted for a share of �925 million and could help get building work on 22,400 homes back on track and create 20,000 jobs.

But the closest projects to Fenland are in Peterborough, Kings Lynn and Huntingdon and only those schemes that can now prove that work can start quickly will get the final go ahead.

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