Continuing to deliver our Regeneration Programmes for your benefit
Continuing the Regeneration Programmes in Chard, Wincanton and Yeovil is one of South Somerset District Council’s priority projects for the coming year that will not only help to bring a greater experience to the town centres but also assist with the social and community recovery of our town centres that will create work communities and business opportunities.
Our Council Plan for 2021-22 sets out how this can be achieved and the key actions we will be taking to drive the change that is needed to revitalise South Somerset.
Council Leader Val Keitch said: “Regeneration is a big focus of this Council and we are committed to improving our town centres because of the many positive benefits it can bring. We want to invest in our towns and rejuvenate and repurpose the town centres of Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton and share the confidence with stakeholders and partners to work together and invest in South Somerset to make the district a better place to live, work, visit and leisure.”
“We have seen investment from the Government for Yeovil through the Future High Streets grant and in Chard through the High Street Heritage Action Zone grant, so there’s confidence in spending money on town centres to make them attractive and reshape them in line with our economic recovery and environment strategies.”
What are the outcomes the council will achieve?
South Somerset District Council has set out a series of outcomes that we want to see over the course of the next 12 months.
- Making substantial progress on plans to rejuvenate and repurpose the town centres of Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton
- Sharing an ambition and confidence with stakeholders and partners to work together and invest in our town centres
- Show leadership in reshaping our town centres in line with our economic recovery and the environment strategies
- Assist with the social and community recovery of our town centres by creating work communities and business opportunities for all.
How specifically will this be achieved and when?
Regeneration of Chard, Wincanton and Yeovil has been a corporate priority for a couple of years now and with any Programme or Project, it takes time to implement and see progress, particularly when public consultation is required.
In Chard, the leisure centre is half way through being completed and is expected to be opened between January and March 2022. We expect to start the programme of public realm improvements (that is, the pedestrian areas of the street) in the latter half of this year, as well as lauching a grants initiative for the repair and renovation of historic buildings and shopfronts. Community engagement work is also being worked on. Further funding will be secured for a cultural programme, led by a local consortium.
In Wincanton, we will create a Grant programme for building improvements within the town centre and look to agree an intervention approach for key vacant premises. This will help assist with the long-term look of the town centre. COVID-19 permitting, many events are planned for the town, so over the coming months, we will assist with promoting these and create a calendar of scheduled events for residents and visitors to enjoy. In January to March 2022, we expect on-site construction to have commenced for phase one of public realm schemes to have started and plans agreed for the future use of the former Health Centre.
In Yeovil in the coming months, we will have commenced stage one of the public realm improvements and started work on Westminster Street. We anticipate to have finished this work later this year whereby we will commence phase two on the next site in the town centre. Towards the end of 2021, we aim to agree improvements to Cycling and Walking routes. In the early months of 2022, we will continue the enhancement of the public realm in the High Street.
All of these actions are planning alongside a range of other initiatives which can be found in our full Council Plan for 2021/22.
We will be publishing more details about the initiatives mentioned here alongside our other priority projects in the coming weeks.