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Tesco promises £20,000 community fund for Chatteris and Whittlesey

Following a request from Fenland District Council, in recognition of the decision not to proceed with its new stores in Chatteris and Whittlesey, Tesco has agreed to set up a £20,000 "community fund" to benefit residents in the two towns.


In addition, it has pledged action to keep the site in Chatteris clean and tidy until a future use for the site can be found. Discussions with potential alternative tenants for the store shell are ongoing and the retailer has committed to keeping the Council and the local community updated. It has also promised to ensure "better access" to Larham Way and the play area there.

The commitments follow a meeting two weeks ago between Tesco representatives and Councillor John Clark, Leader of Fenland District Council, and Paul Medd, the council's chief executive.

Cllr Clark and Mr Medd raised various key concerns arising out of the company's decision, announced last month, and voiced the anger and frustration felt by many residents about the impact that it would have on their communities.

During the meeting, Tesco agreed, at the request of the Council, to set up a community fund as a way to demonstrate their continued commitment to serving the residents of Chatteris and Whittlesey. The fund will focus on providing support in the shape of small grants to local charities, community groups and clubs.

Cllr Clark said: "We are pleased that Tesco has agreed to support the idea of a community fund, and said that it would be happy to work in partnership to help deliver this for the people of both Chatteris and Whittlesey.

Local residents were disappointed by Tesco's decision so I am pleased that they have come forward with a community fund."

Meanwhile, Tesco is arranging for its contractors to visit Chatteris to tidy up the main site, with a particular emphasis on the area where the petrol station was due to be located.

It has promised the contractors will also ensure that residents can access the play area easily and assess whether any further building works are required to complete it. If further work is needed, it will be carried out as soon as possible.

Tesco has also said it is in the process of setting up "a regular and comprehensive maintenance regime" for the summer months, to include both collecting litter and cutting back any overgrown vegetation and plantlife.

The Council also continues to actively pursue the Valuations Office to encourage a valuation to be made on the Chatteris site so business rates become payable to the Council whilst it is vacant.

Article added February 13, 2015