Council approval for Ely and Soham plans takes next step to unlock crucial funding

Plans outlining opportunities to boost Ely and Soham have moved one step closer to unlocking funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).

Yesterday East Cambridgeshire District Council’s (ECDC) Finance and Assets Committee approved to progress the plans for Ely and Soham and submit them to the CPCA board for adoption.

An important element of the plans is an evidence-based strategy to inform a COVID-19 response for the city and town centres.

The plans are high-level documents which will be owned by the CPCA and are purposefully broad to unlock funding.

They also aim to develop a vision and prospectus to attract interest from developers and investors.

Following adoption from the CPCA, meaningful engagement and consultation with key stakeholders regarding identified and other opportunities for both areas will take place as part of the implementation phase.

For Ely, the plans include suggested improvements to the station quarter and city centre, as well as development of the waterfront area. A vision for the city centre post-coronavirus and proposals to improve transport and digital connectivity also form part of the city’s proposals.

Projects for Soham include a focus on transport-driven regeneration including the reopening of Soham station.

A vision for making the most of Soham being at the heart of Cambridgeshire’s AgriTech industry is also an important part of the document, with consideration to provide growth space opportunities for start-ups.

Further attention is drawn to improving the town’s leisure and culture offering, including the Old Mill regeneration project, which could provide a new cultural quarter for Soham.

Councillor David Brown, Chairman of ECDC’s Finance and Assets Committee, said: “The Council is committed to securing investment in the future of our city and towns. Ely and Soham are fantastic places and our plan is to drive future growth by attracting investment. This will bolster what they currently offer and make them vibrant and attractive places to live and work, for residents that are here now, and people who decide to reside here in the future.

“The approval of these plans is the beginning of the journey and allows us to unlock funding for these areas to help them thrive.

“Once we have the funding, the next stage will be a phase of study, engagement and consultation with all key stakeholders.”

ECDC is working with the CPCA to produce plans for every market town and city in the district. The Ely and Soham plans will join the previously Council-approved Littleport Vision and be presented to the CPCA board for adoption.

Press release from East Cambridgeshire District Council

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