High Street Heritage Action Zone works begin in Chard
Following the opening success of the new leisure centre, and the start of the public realm improvements to the town centre, the High Street Heritage Action Zone work has now begun in Chard.
Last week (8 November), work commenced along the north side of Fore Street to help make the high street a safer, more accessible and more attractive place to visit.
The work, which is part of our Chard Regeneration scheme, involves:
- repaving the pavements with natural stone in keeping with the historic character of the town and its Conservation Area
- enhancing the setting of heritage features, including the Guildhall, the unique water rills, and many listed buildings
- widening the pavements in key locations
- planting new trees and plant beds
- decluttering street furniture
- creating new cycle parking and seating areas.
Alun Griffiths Ltd has been appointed as the construction contractor to deliver the High Street Heritage Action Zone improvements to the public realm at Fore Street, Holyrood Street and Boden Street, as well as works at Marketfield and the Eastern Gateway.
Visitors to Chard town centre may have noticed work to the Marketfield and Boden Street Car Park entrances already progressing. This work is essential to improve the safety of the area, with increased visibility for drivers pulling out at the junctions and for pedestrians crossing the road.
Alun Griffiths have also commenced work at Holyrood Street, with a trial hole investigation, Western Power diversion works and tree pit installation work taking place outside of Sainsbury’s.
For the duration of these works, South Somerset District Council and Alun Griffiths will ensure safe access to business premises is maintained at all times and appropriate pedestrian signage is in place. Some traffic management will be required at times but there are no road closures planned.
Works are progressing as quickly and efficiently as possible, with Fore Street due to be completed by the end of February 2022.
Portfolio holder for Chard Regeneration, Cllr Jason Baker, said; “The leisure centre was not the end to the work in Chard. I am very pleased to see the work to the public realm progressing. The improvements to Fore Street will play a large part in improving the town centre environment, ultimately making Chard a better place to live, work and visit.”
You can sign up for email updates about the works from Alun Griffiths. Alternatively, if you have any queries or concerns, contact Alun Griffiths Public Liaison Officer on 0330 041 2184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone
Because of its special historic character, Chard has been designated a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and secured £2m funding to revitalise its town centre. Over £1m of government high streets funding from Historic England has been matched by more than £1m by South Somerset District Council. These funds will be invested in making lasting physical improvements that enhance the historic high street.
The High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme is a national programme of £95 million investment across more than 60 English high streets, with £40 million from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund, £52 million from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Streets Fund, and a further £3 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The HSHAZ programme for Chard will have three strands – public realm improvements (that is, the pedestrian areas of the street), grants for the repair and renovation of historic buildings and shopfronts, and community engagement activity. Additional funding has been secured by a consortium of local cultural and community organisations, to deliver a cultural programme (see note below).
The aim of Chard’s High Street Heritage Action Zone is to make the high street a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and spend time. We want everyone to be as involved as possible in the scheme, and in the future of Chard’s town centre.
High Streets Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme
The ‘Culturally Chard’ consortium, led by Somerset Art Works and Chard Town Council, has been awarded £80,000 as part of the national £7.4 million HSHAZ Cultural Programme which is currently working across over 60 English high streets. Cultural activity funded by this grants scheme will take place over the next three years, co-ordinated by the consortium members and delivered by local organisations. The cultural programme will bring new activity to the town centre and encourage people to connect to the unique heritage of Chard’s high street in creative ways. For more details visit www.culturallychard.wordpress.com/.
About Historic England
We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation.
We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.
About Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd
Alun Griffiths is a leading regional civil engineering and construction contractor with a track record stretching back almost 50 years. We construct new roads, bridges and railways as well as maintaining existing assets for both public and private clients.