An important objective for the scheme has been to leave a positive legacy for Cambridgeshire, by improving quality of life for local communities and promoting local economic growth.
A14 Community Fund
One of our aspirations for the scheme was to connect local communities and the people that live there. The A14 community fund helped bring that to fruition by supporting relevant local projects.
The £450,000 community fund supported 55 projects in the local area. Examples of different projects include:
- The Countryside Restoration Trust received £9,005 to support water voles
- Histon & Impington Community Orchard Project received £1,752 to complete and maintain the orchard by providing some tools and an information sign
- Cambridge Science Centre received £9,780 to create a new cross-disciplinary workshop, linking the environment and engineering, using the A14 as a case study
- Grafham Community Pub received £10,000 towards the purchase of a building to house a new community pub
- Acting Now received £10,000 to finance performances telling the stories of 12 people experiencing mental health issues and focussing on the journeys taken in life
- The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group received £10,000 to set up an ‘A14 Farmer Cluster’ exploring how small parcels of land can be used to maximise environmental benefits such as wildlife conservation, flood mitigation and improved water quality
Community Fund case studies
Rowan, a registered charity and arts centre, received money to run a local arts project aimed at helping 68 students with learning disabilities develop skills in woodwork, printmaking, textiles and ceramics.
The students began by taking part in the various creative activities, and then worked together to produce art installations for each end of the A14C2H improvement scheme.
Focussing on the scheme’s commitment to protect the local environment, the team designed and created two 2-metre ceramic dragonflies, which can now be seen hovering above ponds at Milton Country Park and Hinchingbrooke Country Park.
Emma was keen to participate and learn a wide range of skills when she first joined Rowan. She soon developed an interest in ceramics, which became her main focus. With no previous experience in this medium, Emma gained the skills needed to become an important member of the team.
Emma shared her experience with us: “I had never worked with clay before. When I found out about the A14 project it made me nervous because I hadn’t worked on something like this before…I learned how to turn clay from the ground into clay we could use to make the dragonfly with. I got involved, even though I don’t like getting messy.”
Emma learned a lot about dragonflies during the project, admitting: “I would like to do another project in the future, but no more dragonflies!”
Reflecting on the experience she shared with her fellow students, Emma says: “I think people enjoyed the workshop because they learned new skills and got to be a part of the project.”
*Please note that the name has been changed”
Acting Now is a social theatre group based in Cambridge, aiming to transform lives through theatre.
They use different drama techniques, such as group work and improvisation, to engage people at risk of social exclusion. They received £10,000 from the community fund to finance a performance about being on the road.
This performance, called ‘Side Roads’ was about the journeys we take in life and were all inspired by personal experiences of the 12 participants, who are experiencing various mental health issues. Rehearsing and performing their stories gave the participants an opportunity to meet people, express themselves, work as a team and build their confidence.
Pete suffered with mental health problems for a number of years and was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and severe anxiety.
Prior to his diagnosis, family members noticed a significant change in his character, particularly his self-confidence and his ability to socialise.
Pete signed up to Acting now and has attended rehearsals regularly and consistently – something that previously would have been a problem for him. His family watched his self- confidence grow as a result.
His sister commented: “I could not be prouder of him and really appreciate what this project has done to help improve my brother’s self-confidence.
“I was surprised to learn that this project was funded by the A14 community fund. I think everyone who lives in the area has been affected by the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme and I know it has impacted on people’s journeys. I commend the A14 project for this investment.”
*Please note that names have been changed
Improving connections for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders
Cyclists, walkers and horse riders can now enjoy approximately 24 miles of new routes, which were included in the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme.
• Approximately 8 miles of new route between Cambridge and Fenstanton, allowing onwards access towards Huntingdon via existing routes.
• Over 7 miles of connections in and around the upgraded A1 near Brampton and Buckden.
• And approximately 9 miles of other connections around the scheme.
By working with Cambridgeshire County Council we have also secured funding for additional links to join existing routes. The £3.1m programme includes five projects:
• Extending a cycle path ending in Girton to provide a cycling and equestrian route into Cambridge.
• A foot and cycle path along the A1198 (Ermine Street) to improve a popular rural route between Papworth and Cambourne.
• A pedestrian and cycle path between Bar Hill and Longstanton.
• A pedestrian and cycle path between Wood Green and Godmanchester.
• Improved connections between Longstanton and Northstowe.
We are still finalising the design for these routes, and work is expected to start this year (2020).