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Meeting to shape future of Woodbridge

PUBLISHED: 16:45 17 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

A MEETING that could shape the whole future of Woodbridge and Melton is due to go ahead this weekend.

Earlier this year they were given a windfall of more than £600,000 to help improve the area as part of the Government Market Town's Initiative.

A MEETING that could shape the whole future of Woodbridge and Melton is due to go ahead this weekend.

Earlier this year they were given a windfall of more than £600,000 to help improve the area as part of the Government Market Town's Initiative.

The Government gave £250,000 and another £375,000 had to be matched by other organisations.

Since then a partnership led by Woodbridge Town Council and Melton Parish Council and including the community council, the Woodbridge Society, the Chamber of Trade and the churches, have been working towards a strategy for the future.

A number of issues have been identified for areas of change and now people are being invited to a special meeting to discuss those.

It is hoped that the partnership will be able find out what the public sees as the important issues for the town, which could be influenced by the funding.

Previously, projects that came into consideration were transport links to Sutton Hoo Anglo Saxon ship burial site, a skateboard park and improvements to the Tide Mill area.

At the public meeting on Saturday there will be individual workshops covering various issues such as the economy, environment, community, sports and transport.

There will also be the opportunity for people to listen to views and opinions as well as give their own.

Initially the pay out from the East of England Development Agency and the Countryside Agency was heavily criticised by some members of Woodbridge Town Council.

The windfall had turned into a bureaucratic nightmare as it was revealed that it could cost up to £100,000 to employ the necessary staff to manage the project and to pay for the administration to spend the money.

Most of the costs would be taken out of the grants, which would leave less money than expected for spending on the projects.

District councillor Nigel Barratt, who is chairman of the partnership, said of the meeting: "This is an opportunity for the local community to be involved in making their views heard concerning the future outlook for Woodbridge and Melton.

"With grant monies of £250,000 available to us and pledges from other sources of a similar amount we hope to be able to build on these views with suitable projects."

The meeting will take place on Saturday at the Community Hall in Station Road, Woodbridge, from 2pm until 5pm.

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