he Wickham Market Partnership celebrates 10 years
Originally created as a company limited by guarantee in October 2002 the Wickham Market Partnership attained charitable status in February 2003. Its principal purpose has always been to obtain funding to work with various organisations to improve the facilities in Wickham Market and the surrounding communities.
An early project was the development of the community website at https://www.visitwickhammarket.co.uk/wickham-market-partnership, which continues to inform visitors and residents alike of Wickham Market's wide range of services and facilities. This is supported by 70 members ranging from local businesses to voluntary organisations, clubs and individual members. The Partnership was also a key partner in designing and seeking funding for a skate park, and supporting the Village Hall to install a new play area in 2004.
The Resource Centre was built in conjunction with Suffolk County Council with funding from the East of England Development Agency and opened in 2004. The building has disabled access and not only houses the Library but also the Community Rooms, which the Partnership rents from the County Council. These include an Interview Room, Meeting Room and a Treatment/Therapy Room, all of which can be hired out to local organisations and individuals. Information about these rooms can be found on the Partnership's website.
This was followed by tennis courts developed in 2008 with Lottery funding, the completion of a full-sized basketball court in 2009, and facilities signage for Wickham Market off the A12. A promotional leaflet for Wickham Market, celebrating its history, environment and businesses, was also designed and published in 2010. Local businesses have been supported with the installation of Christmas tree/flagpole brackets on the Hill in 2011.
Over the years the Partnership has given matched funding to a number of other organisations in the area with small grants via the Community Chest project, done surveys to find out what people want in Wickham, held business seminars, and supported youth groups with funding.
Last but not least the Partnership responded to the threat of the possible library closure in 2011 by liaising with the County Council to form a Library Management Committee in 2012 to take over the day-to-day running of the library. It supplements the staff with volunteer helpers who have enabled the library to offer increased opening hours. The library is one of the first pilot schemes in Suffolk.
For more information about the Partnership go to our website www.wickham-market.org.uk or phone 01728 747782.