Five projects could get a share of £616,000 Combined Authority funding

Five East Cambridgeshire projects have received backing from Metro Mayor James Palmer who will push for them to get a share of £616,000 of Combined Authority funding.

These are the projects and how much the mayor is hoping will be agreed when the proposals are considered by Wednesday’s board of the Combined Authority:

Ely Digital Connectivity (£195,000) to install additional access points to extend the town’s free public Wi-fi network. The money will also be used to upgrade the network to analyse data through additional monitoring technology.

Ely Steeple Row (£96,000) to undertake improvements including new pathways, furniture, lighting, signage, digital access points, security and enhanced pedestrian access into High Street.

Ely and Soham Town Centre Covid-19 Recovery (£190,000) to implement an enhancement scheme to:

• improve the appearance for both Ely and Soham town centres by introducing new and improved facilities

• invest in infrastructure, signage and street furniture to encourage footfall and visitor access

• develop a new business ‘nurturing’ culture by providing infrastructure to support the economy, tourism, culture and leisure industry

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Ely and Soham Evidence Strategy (£40,000) to develop an evidence-based city centre delivery strategy for both towns.

Soham Digital Connectivity (£95,000) to install additional access points to significantly extend the town’s free public Wi-fi network.

James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, said: “Investment in our market towns is the key to our continued prosperity and the Combined Authority is in the right position to deliver it.

“Strung throughout the county, our market towns provide economic and social hubs for substantial rural populations.

“I want all communities in Cambridgeshire to thrive and that means ensuring these much-loved centres are equipped for the future.

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

“This means ensuring they are dynamic go-to destinations for business and pleasure, properly linked in by road, rail and digital, and attractive to residents, visitors, and new businesses alike.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve glimpsed a future that may be less city-focussed, with stronger local communities and digital connectivity freeing more people to work smarter and more flexibly.

“Market towns, with their generous space, fresh air, community feel, and scope for good, green growth are in a wonderful place to grasp opportunity and move forward. The Combined Authority investment programme will help drive this.”