Wisbech declared a top prize winner in the Anglia in Bloom competition

WE did it! The hard work has paid off, and Wisbech has been declared a top prize winner in the Anglia in Bloom competition. Wisbech beat off the likes of Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Newmarket, St Neots, Kings Lynn, St Ives and Ware to be acclaimed overall winne

WE did it! The hard work has paid off, and Wisbech has been declared a top prize winner in the Anglia in Bloom competition.

Wisbech beat off the likes of Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Newmarket, St Neots, Kings Lynn, St Ives and Ware to be acclaimed overall winner - and gold award winner- in the large town category.

Penny Stocks, founder member, secretary and fund raiser for Wisbech in Bloom was thrilled.

"The town's efforts have magnified every year, and 2008 has been the best display ever," she said.


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It was an extraordinary result for Wisbech which has not only invested heavily in making the town sing with colour but has captured the imagination of the entire population.

Councillor David Oliver, Leader of the Town Council, said: "Everyone is to be congratulated."

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IMPROVEMENTS in the state of Wisbech Park have contributed to the success of the Wisbech in Bloom project, with it being transformed from a virtual "no-go" area into a community facility.

Bob Ollier - the parks and open spaces manager for Fenland District Council - has been determined to bring the park back into line.

A few years ago, the park was unkempt, with glass on the children's playground, and suffered from uneven paths, an overgrown shrubbery, and litter.

Bob said: "I was looking for a challenge, and found a huge one here to get my teeth into, it's been a lot of hard work and is on-going, but I enjoy every moment, and there are plans in the pipeline to make the area even more community friendly, with exciting new ideas to ring even more people in here.

"During the 90's there was very little investment, so the challenge was on, to raise the standard, putting the park back on the agenda for the community."

Coun Simon King said of Mr Ollier: "Bob has made a tremendous contribution, not just to Wisbech Park, but also throughout the area.

"We are very lucky to have someone who has such dedication and vision."

THE story of how the Wisbech in Bloom group came to produce such a magnificent award-winning display was documented in a 30-page dossier handed to judges before they visited the town.

The document recorded the programme of work throughout the year, giving details of all the effort put into the entry.

It had to give information about the group's efforts in relation to five categories: local authority, community sustainability, environment, cleansing (including graffiti) and rubbish removal.

Several new projects were instigated throughout the year, including the completion of the Freedom Bridge makeover, with its new landscaping and colourful planting in the small boats.

The sensory garden was stripped and re-planted, and the St Raphael disabled club garden was the subject of a make-over, with sponsorship from Buildbase.

Other projects included the "Our Place" scheme run by the Octavia Hill Society, a dementia garden at Orchard Care Home, and the planting of more than 20,000 narcissi and daffodil bulbs along roadside verges.

IMPROVEMENTS in the state of Wisbech Park have contributed to the success of the Wisbech in Bloom project, with it being transformed from a virtual "no-go" area into a community facility.

Bob Ollier - the parks and open spaces manager for Fenland District Council - has been determined to bring the park back into line.

A few years ago, the park was unkempt, with glass on the children's playground, and suffered from uneven paths, an overgrown shrubbery, and litter.

Bob said: "I was looking for a challenge, and found a huge one here to get my teeth into, it's been a lot of hard work and is on-going, but I enjoy every moment, and there are plans in the pipeline to make the area even more community friendly, with exciting new ideas to ring even more people in here.

"During the 90's there was very little investment, so the challenge was on, to raise the standard, putting the park back on the agenda for the community."

Coun Simon King said of Mr Ollier: "Bob has made a tremendous contribution, not just to Wisbech Park, but also throughout the area.

"We are very lucky to have someone who has such dedication and vision."

THE business community in Wisbech was a great supporter of the Anglia in Bloom competition.

Fabulous hanging baskets adorned many local shops, and various companies sponsored the planting.

Clive Gibbon, who is the Business Development Officer for Fenland District Council said: "I think it's fantastic, it's not the sort of thing I have had dealings with before, and its nice to see not just the major retailers, but also small local businesses, coming together to create a brilliant effort. Everyone involved should be congratulated."

Horsefair shopping centre manager Kevin Smith added: "I think the planting around the town has been superb, and I especially like the wide variety of plants that have been used.

"I am particularly pleased with the development of the roundabout in front of the Horsefair Shopping Centre, it has been transformed."

Special thanks should go to Buildbase and Monroe Horticulture, who gave their support throughout.

WISBECH is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the best places in East Anglia to live, work and play.

The iconic Boathouse Business Centre is set to open its doors next month, just weeks after Fenland was voted the happiest place to live in Cambridgeshire and the 43rd happiest area to live in Britain.

It opens for business in a Wisbech that is bursting with pride after sweeping the board in the Anglia in Bloom 2008 competition.

To help bring more smiles to the faces of potential tenants Fenland District Council, which will operate the fully-serviced office accommodation along the same lines as the hugely successful South Fens Business Centre in Chatteris, is offering tenants an introductory 50 per cent reduction on their rent for the first two months, or a 30 per cent reduction for the first three months. The council is also offering tenants easy entry and exit terms, so they are not tied to long leases.

The Boathouse was conceived to attract knowledge-based businesses into Fenland, particularly from the over-heated and congested market in Cambridge. It is an approach that is working. One of the first tenants scheduled to move into the Boathouse is a Cambridge company moving from one of the science parks in the city. Another is a media company in East Cambs and another is a national recruitment agency.

The Boathouse has 28 offices to let, facilities for conferences and training courses, a ground floor café and outdoor seating area overlooking the Yacht Harbour that is open to the public, and in-house catering facilities for the tenants.

It is a key element in the Nene Waterfront Regeneration Project, which is transforming a derelict 20-acre site on the waterfront in the heart of Wisbech.

Wisbech is no longer seen as a backwater. It is an attractive business proposition for any cost-conscious organisation that is looking for room to grow and for a workforce that is committed to its local community.

MANY of the plants in the award-winning displays around the town were grown in the Wisbech area.

The Horsefair Shopping Centre was also awash with colour this summer with the addition of some bright and beautiful hanging baskets.

The baskets, supplied by Continental Landscapes, were bigger and brighter than ever and turned heads at the centre.

Andrew Griffiths, from Continental Landscapes, said: "All the plants used in the baskets were grown here in the Wisbech area; the baskets were certainly the biggest, most colourful baskets we have seen in the area."

Commenting on the baskets Kevin Smith, manager of the Horsefair, said: "The summer baskets were displayed throughout the centre and they really were a talking point for shoppers and visitors alike. Everyone at the centre was really pleased with them."

The flower schemes around the town included 29,000 bulbs and 20,000 flower plants around St Peter's Church. Old shrub beds had been cleared away, allowing a new planting scheme, designed in a cottage garden style with hostas, lilies, and climbing clematis.

The Crescent Gardens were cleared and replanted in the autumn, and wonderful hanging baskets adorned the fine Georgian buildings and the town centre.

The formal beds alongside Churchill Road gleamed at passing motorists, and were greatly enjoyed by elderly residents living nearby.

PROUD Wisbech was declared winner of the Anglia in Bloom 2008 category for large towns, beating rivals including bury St Edmunds, Huntingdon, Newmarket and King's Lynn.

Here is a full run-down of the Anglia in Bloom results for 2008.

Best overall entry and winner of the National Express Trophy

Brightlingsea

CATEGORY ENTRANTS & AWARDS

# Small Village (under 300 residents): Winner and Silver Award, SWAINSTHORPE; Silver Award, WOODHURST; Certificate of Achievement, HEYBRIDGE.

# Village (301-1000 residents): Winner and Silver Gilt Award, FILBY; Silver Gilt Award, BULPHAN; Silver Awards, WISTOW; Bronze Award: CAVENDISH.

# Large Village (1001-2500 residents): Winner and Gold Award, ORSETT; Silver Awards, CLARE, HARLINGTON.

# Small Town (2501-6000 residents): Winner and Silver Gilt Award, FRINTON-on-SEA; Silver Gilt Award: BUNGAY, KELVEDON, LEISTON-CUM-SIZWELL, MARTLESHAM, OULTON BROAD, REDBOURN SAWTRY, SAXMUNDHAM; Silver Award, BRAMPTON, GODMANCHESTER, HETHERSETT, SOUTH WOOTON; Bronze Award, JAYWICK.

# Town (6001-12000 residents): Winner and Gold Award, BRIGHTLINGSEA; Silver Gilt Awards, BURNHAM-ON-CROUCH, CHATTERIS, HALSTEAD, MALDON, SUDBURY, WOODBRIDGE; Silver Award, DOWNHAM MARKET, NORTH WALSHAM.

# Large Town (12001-35000 residents): Winner and Gold Award, WISBECH; Gold Award, BURY ST EDMUNDS; Silver Gilt Award, ELY, HARPENDEN, HUNTINGDON, NEWMARKET, ST NEOTS; Silver Award, KING'S LYNN, RAYLEIGH, ST IVES, WARE.

# Small City (35001-100000 residents): Winner and Gold Award, STEVENAGE; Gold Award, BEDFORD; Silver Gilt Award, NORWICH; Silver Award, BROXBOURNE.

# City (100001-200000 residents): Winner and Silver Gilt Award, PETERBOROUGH; Silver Gilt Award, THURROCK, SOUTHEND-ON-SEA.

# Urban Regeneration/Community: Winner and Silver Gilt Award, CHAPELFIELD (NORWICH); Silver Gilt Awards, GREATER DOGSTHORPE (PETERBOROUGH), MOOR (HUNTINGDON); Silver Award, THE LANES (NORWICH).

# Coastal Resort (up to 35,000 residents): Winner and Silver Gilt Award, HUNSTANTON; Silver Gilt Award, CLACTON, FELIXSTOWE, GREAT YARMOUTH, LOWESTOFT, SHERINGHAM; Silver Awards, OLD HUNSTANTON.

SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS

Best new entry: BULPHAN

Most Improved: WISBECH

# The Roy Lacey Award, MARY RUTHERFORD, HARLINGTON.

# Biodiversity Award, REDBOURN COMMON.

# Best Community Project, SPRINGMEAD GARDENS, BRIGHTLINGSEA.

# Best Conservation project, KONE VALLEY AND EDEN ROSE COPPICE, SUDBURY.

# Environmental Quality Award, GODMANCHESTER.

# Grow Your Own Award, HOLDBROOK ALLOTMENTS, BROXBOURNE.

# Best Industrial/Commercial Area, SOMERFIELDS FROMAS ESTATE, SAXMUNDHAM.

# Best Local Authority Floral Display, ESPLANADE GARDENS, HUNSTANTON (Nomination: ST PETER'S CHURCH GARDENS AND WISBECH PARK)

# Best Public Open Space, PRIORY PARK, SOUTHEND-ON-SEA.

# Best Garden For Special Needs, GREEN FINGERS GARDEN, NORWICH.

# Best Sustainable/Drought Garden, TRIANGLE SHOPPING CENTRE, FRINTON-ON-SEA.

# Best Young Persons Project (12-18 Years), WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE STUDENTS RECYCLING SCULPTURE, BURT ST EDMUNDS.

# Best Young Persons Project (under 12 years), BRAMPTON VILLAGE PRIMARY SCHOOL ECO GARDEN (Nomination: ST PETER'S PRIMARY SCHOOL 'OUR PLACE 2' OCTAVIA HILL GARDEN, WISBECH).

# Best Railway Station, WYMONDHAM.

NEIGHBOURHOOD AWARDS

# Certificates of Outstanding Achievement: CHERRY ROAD HOUSING, GORLESTON; OAKLEIGH DRIVE, SWAFFHAM; ST MARY'S CLOSE, HEMSBY.

# Certificates of Merit: BELMONT ALLOTMENTS, GRAYS; BRADCROFT HOUSING, NORWICH; HACONSFIELD, HETHERSETT; HARRY MILLER COURT, GREAT YARMOUTH; HAWKINS CLOSE, GREAT YARMOUTH; SOUTH OCKENDEN COMMUNITY FORUM; WARD AVENUE ALLOTMENTS, GRAYS.

# Certificates of Improvement: BEEHIVE CENTRE, GRAYS; MANEA.

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