An exciting project celebrating the history of a Fenland high street and driving its future restoration has been boosted with the launch of a new interactive website.
The Wisbech High Street Project, being delivered by Fenland District Council thanks to £1.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Townscape Heritage programme, launched the website last week.
The site, at www.highstreetwisbech.org.uk, provides a wealth of information on the four year project, which aims to reverse the fortunes of the High Street by restoring its derelict, vacant and ‘at risk’ buildings and bringing them back to life.
The website also has details of forthcoming events and activities supporting the scheme and updates on the progress of the building improvement works being undertaken.
Another feature encourages people with memories, historical documents and old photos and videos of the High Street to contribute by uploading them to the site.
Taleyna Fletcher, the Council’s Townscape Heritage Officer for the Wisbech High Street Project, said the website was an exciting step in the project which will not only benefit the High Street but have a positive impact on surrounding parts of the town.
She said: “Since starting in my role in January this year there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes. I have been meeting property owners and tenants on the High Street to explain the project to them and how they will benefit from the funding opportunities available.”
She said a planning application has just this week been approved for 13-17 High Street, known to many as the JTE building or the old ‘Boro Café, to bring the first floor back into use after 30 years, and proposals to fill the gap at number 24 are well underway.
“We are finalising the designs for the unique public space at number 24 which will no doubt have the whole town talking!” she added.
“Along with the help and support of heritage institutions in the town and representatives of the local community, we are also building up an exciting programme of activities in which we will engage local schools and residents in events such as photography, archaeology, tunnel investigations and heritage-construction skill courses.”
Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for heritage, Councillor David Oliver, said: “The new website will keep local people informed about the progress the Council, partners and owners are making with the Wisbech High Street Project and let them know about the various events and activities that will be taking place as it develops.
“A great feature is that it also allows residents to share their memories of the High Street and businesses that operated there over the decades. It’s had a great response so far, with many items being uploaded. There are lots of photos of the outsides of buildings, but we’d love to see some of the inside too; if anyone has any they would be a great addition to the site.”