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New face to take Woodbridge forward

PUBLISHED: 00:45 17 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

WOODBRIDGE is set for a major boost next month when the market town welcomes a new figure charged with regenerating and boosting its trade.

Marion Wells is the new town co-ordinator and she will be aiming to bring in more shoppers and visitors and encourage local groups to work together to give the town a more positive image.

WOODBRIDGE is set for a major boost next month when the market town welcomes a new figure charged with regenerating and boosting its trade.

Marion Wells is the new town co-ordinator and she will be aiming to bring in more shoppers and visitors and encourage local groups to work together to give the town a more positive image.

She has been appointed by the Woodbridge and Melton Market Towns Initiative (MTI) Partnership Group and takes up her role on July 14.

She has been a board member of Action for Market Towns, was a founder member of the East of England Market Towns Resource Team, and the town centre manager of Maldon from 1998-2001.

"Her previous experience as a town centre manager will prove invaluable in building up relationships with local business people and the wider community, and I am sure her enthusiasm will quickly see many successful links being formed," said Penny Austen-Brown, member of the partnership steering group and chairman of the Suffolk Coastal Business Forum.

"This new post is seen to be vital to regenerating both the commercial and community aspects of Woodbridge.

"We want to encourage more shoppers and visitors while doing it in a way that is not going to spoil the unique charms of our town or antagonise its residents."

The appointment follows a feasibility study commissioned by the MTI that recognised the need for someone to liaise between business and community groups to support projects that would boost Woodbridge.

Key tasks will include a business plan to encourage investment and trade, increasing the use of local shops, tapping into the opportunities offered by visitors to Sutton Hoo, and improved communications between the various groups that have a role in the town's day to day life.

"This is a key appointment for the future development of our town. We want to foster and encourage community spirit, involvement and collaboration between all local businesses and with the local population," said Mrs Austen-Brown.

Funding for the post has come from the town and district councils, county councillor Nigel Barratt's locality budget, the East of England Development Agency, national businesses and small independent traders.

"Thanks to them all we now have Marion, but we do urgently need more funding or help in kind to enable her to get on with her job – for example we desperately need to find her an office within the town," said Mrs Austen-Brown.

Any organisation that would like to contribute, either by cash donation or other support, should contact Mrs Austen-Brown on 01394 385973 for more details.

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