Driving economic regeneration in Waterbeach

It is all too clear the economic impact the closure of the barracks has had on the shops and business in Waterbeach. Most have reported losing 10-50% of their trade.

Shop LocalI have always been committed to doing everything I can to help. This includes building the ‘Shop Local’ scheme that has an active facebook page – www.facebook.com/shopwaterbeachward.

Last Monday I was delighted to have chaired the ‘Shop Local’ business summit at South Cambridgeshire District Council. This included Waterbeach shops/businesses, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business, Deyton Bell and South Cambs District Council. From this the first ‘Shop Local business network breakfast meeting is to be held at the Beach Social Club on January 8th at 8am. In addition the District Council are looking for Waterbeach to be the pilot village of their Rural Economic Strategy. Both are significant steps in developing a strategy to boost our economy going forward. The external business organisations commented on how unique it was to see such a sustained ‘Shop Local’ campaign in a community.

That said there is nothing like having more people in the village to spend in the local economy. So it is great to IMG-20130626-02009seeing the former MoD houses starting to be occupied. This is why I chaired two multi-agency meetings to help move the process forward of transfer between the MoD and Annington Homes. All the homes are now with Annington and these are being released on an ongoing phased process to the open market. It is hoped that all the homes will be sold or rented in the next 12 months.

Certainly I believe that we can go into 2014 with a sense of optimism.

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