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Five key changes you’ll see to The Borough as part of the Yeovil Refresh public realm improvements

| Your Area South

It was recently announced that the highly anticipated transformational refresh changes to the public realm areas of Yeovil town centre are set to begin in the near future following completion of work on final public realm designs.

One of the areas set to see changes to the public realm is the Borough area which will make the space more attractive to residents, visitors and businesses.

Above: Artists' impression of what the Borough could look like.

We’ve picked out five key changes to the area that you will see once work is completed:

The war memorial

One of the iconic symbol in Yeovil town centre, we want to give this memorial the respect it deserves by enhancing its surroundings and making it a more attractive place to visit and congregate.

Enhanced paving scheme

We plan to enhance and enlarge the paving scheme in The Borough using natural stone paving – again, which helps with the flow and general look of the town centre. We also plan to remove vehicle access to Wine Street using the paving scheme to do this.

New and additional seating

We want to provide new and additional seating to The Borough to allow more people to enjoy this space. There are a vast array of shops to visit in this area and with the increased and enhanced paving, it gives the opportunity for entertainment like street performances to take place here and benches would help facilitate this.

Relocated bus stops

Relocating the bus stops away from the Borough helps more people to congregate in this area and for visitors to enjoy the wonderful surroundings of St Johns Church. It also enables more outside activities like dining and cafes to extend their seated areas further into the area of the Borough.

Improved pedestrian crossing point

We want to improve the pedestrian crossing point between The Borough to Middle Street. This will aid those with disabilities and help them to get around easier if using assisted mobility equipment.

The public realm enhancement work will change the areas that people move or congregate around and will make areas more attractive to residents, visitors and businesses. There are a total of six areas of the town centre which will see changes including Westminster Street, The Borough, upper Middle Street (including Wine Street), Middle Street (East), Middle Street (West) and The Triangle.

Work is scheduled to start in early February and will be completed in a phased approach over a few years to ensure the town centre can keep running while the construction work is delivered, beginning with Westminster Street.

Throughout the design and consultation stages, businesses and residents have been consulted on what they would like to see and consideration to impacts have been taken into account. Through the build stages, we plan to work with the businesses within the streets to minimise the impacts on them as much as possible. 

Councillor Peter Gubbins, executive member for Yeovil Refresh, said: “The Borough is a highly used area of the town centre and we see a lot of people congregate here. We want to open this space up more to create a friendlier environment and space; we can only really do that by relocating the bus stops to a different area of the town centre so people can feel a lot safer when in The Borough.”

Andrew Clancy, Managing Director of Coreus, who have been working with SSDC on Quantity Surveying, project management support and the public realm designs, said: “As a South Somerset resident, I am so pleased to be supporting SSDC in project and cost management works for the regeneration of Yeovil. The public realm works will regenerate the town and in a post Covid world help attract inward investment and economic development.”

Nationally, the old traditional high street idea that town centres are filled with rows and rows of shops is outdated. We want to create an experience where the high street offers a mix of housing, service industry and shops to help counter the effects of online shopping. Multi-stores are starting to decline in town centres and we are increasingly seeing a new norm of bijou style shops, cafes and independent traders.

Clean Air and reduced pollution in town and city centres is becoming increasingly important. As a local authority we have designed a place which strives to improve the air quality in the town centre. We will reduce traffic in the centre of the town which helps improve air quality for residents and visitors; and with Yeovil having an air quality action plan, we can make great strides in ensuring we help to meet our environmental targets in our Environment Strategy.

You can read more about the final public realm designs announcement on our website.

Yeovil Refresh website

We now have a Yeovil Refresh website where you can keep up-to-date with the latest news, view information and images from the projects and read all about the Yeovil Refresh programme. Visit www.yeovilrefresh.co.uk to see for yourself.

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