Council approves plans to ‘unlock crucial funding’ to boost Ely and Soham

Soham Eastern Gateway: The development will provide up to 575 homes, including affordable housing, a

Soham Eastern Gateway: The development will provide up to 575 homes, including affordable housing, as well as a new GP surgery, commercial spaces, a nursery, and open, green and play spaces for all Soham residents.Images are from a YouTuibe 'fly through' created by This Land Ltd. Picture; THIS LAND LTD - Credit: Archant

Plans to ‘unlock crucial funding’ for Ely and Soham have had the green light to progress from East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC).

The splendour of Ely Cathedral. Ambitious proposals under discussion consider how the city of Ely wi

The splendour of Ely Cathedral. Ambitious proposals under discussion consider how the city of Ely will shape up in years to come. Picture: TIMOTHY SELVAGE - Credit: Archant

The finance and assets committee approved the progression of plans to boost the areas with funding from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).

Following the announcement on earlier in June, the plans will now be submitted to the combined authority – making that next step towards approval.

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

For Ely, the plans include suggested improvements to the station quarter and city centre, as well as development of the waterfront area.

A busy vibrant city centre. Now discussions are under way to ensure Ely can grow and move forward. N

A busy vibrant city centre. Now discussions are under way to ensure Ely can grow and move forward. New proposals for growth are being discussed. PHOTO: Mike Rouse. - Credit: Archant


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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.

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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.

A royal visit to remember, The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almsh

A royal visit to remember, The Prince of Wales in Ely. During the visit he met residents of an almshouse, attended a reception at Poet's House for community groups, visited the stained glass museum and undertook a walkabout of Ely farmers' market. Picture: TERRY HARRIS - Credit: © Terry Harris

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.

Soham Eastern Gateway: The development will provide up to 575 homes, including affordable housing, a

Soham Eastern Gateway: The development will provide up to 575 homes, including affordable housing, as well as a new GP surgery, commercial spaces, a nursery, and open, green and play spaces for all Soham residents.Images are from a YouTuibe 'fly through' created by This Land Ltd. Picture; THIS LAND LTD - Credit: Archant

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

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.

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.

A vision of the future? One of the display boards at Soham showing aspects of the gateway developmen

A vision of the future? One of the display boards at Soham showing aspects of the gateway development - Credit: Archant

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