Suffolk town appoints new supremo

THE bid to regenerate the ailing streets of a Suffolk town has taken a step forward with the appointment of a co-ordinator to oversee the process.Marion Wells will start work on July 14 as the town co-ordinator for the Woodbridge and Melton Market Towns Initiative (MTI) Partnership Group.

THE bid to regenerate the ailing streets of a Suffolk town has taken a step forward with the appointment of a co-ordinator to oversee the process.

Marion Wells will start work on July 14 as the town co-ordinator for the Woodbridge and Melton Market Towns Initiative (MTI) Partnership Group.

Her appointment follows a study commissioned by the partnership which recognised the need for someone to liase between business and community groups to boost the image of the town.

Among the key tasks to be tackled include the drawing up of a business plan, encouraging the use of local shops and tapping into the town's tourism potential.


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Penny Austen-Brown, a member of the town's partnership steering group and chairman of the Suffolk Coastal Business Forum, welcomed the appointment.

She said: "Marion was chosen from an excellent set of candidates. 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.

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"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."

Mrs Austen-Brown also appealed for help in funding the project and for those who want to get involved to come forward.

She added: "It has been as a result of partnership that we have been able to fund this post, and we have received backing and support from the town council, the district council, a sizeable contribution from county councillor Nigel Barratt's locality budget, and from the East of England Development Agency through the Countryside Agency.

"This has all been matched by the business community at large as well significant support from the Chamber of Commerce.

"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.

"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."

Anyone who would like to get involved with the project, either through a donation or by offering a helping hand, should call Mrs Austen-Brown on 01394 385973.

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