Councillors to consider plans to unlock further funding for Yeovil Refresh
South Somerset District Council is to consider a plan to unlock further funding which will allow its proposals for regenerating Yeovil town centre to have an even greater impact.
The council recently applied for and received a £9,756,897 grant from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.
As part of its commitment to invest in a number of town centre enhancement proposals which were central to the award of the grant, the council now needs to match-fund a number of elements to ensure the town gains the maximum possible benefit.
It means the overall budget for Yeovil Refresh could be expanded so that work can start immediately. All the details you need to know are below:
What is Yeovil Refresh?
Yeovil Refresh aims to create a town centre that will be a vibrant place to live, work, shop, learn and visit. Working with consultants and key partners, South Somerset District Council has been exploring how it can best invest in Yeovil’s future.
This will involve a significant investment from the council and a range of key local organisations, alongside the Future High Streets Fund grant.
The work involves making the town centre easier to access and making it a more exciting place to visit through adding new features to areas like the bandstand.
The proposal will also celebrate the town’s cultural offer, create more things to do and the opportunity to stage daytime and evening events, alongside making the town centre more attractive to new retailers and creating new housing.
How will this be funded and what is changing?
The current net budget is £3.855m including a recently improved package to improve cycling and walking routes in the town centre.
With our success in securing the Government’s £9.57M grant unlocking the full potential of the Yeovil Refresh programme, the Council now needs to increase its funding commitment by £2.8m to match fund the FHSF grant and a payment of up to £800,000 (this sum is still being negotiated) to Somerset County Council to help improve town centre roads above standard maintenance.
As such, it is proposed that the net budget could be increased by £2,604,168 from £3,855,000 to £6,459,168.
Additional funding to support the scheme will also be achieved through a variety of measures including income generation.
What happens next?
The council’s District Executive will meet on Thursday 1 July to consider increasing funding for Yeovil Refresh.
Westminster Street in Yeovil will be the first area in the town centre to see improvement work under the Yeovil Refresh public realm enhancements that will help to improve the look of the town centre for shoppers, businesses, residents and workers.
The start of this work will be briefly delayed as Wessex Water recently advised that a sewer diversion will be required to facilitate the work being undertaken. We are working with relevant authorities to secure a new start date as quickly as possible. It remains estimated that the work at Westminster Street will be completed this autumn and, by this time, it’s expected that work at The Triangle and Wine Street will have commenced.
Other elements of the public realm improvement scheme will see enhancement works at The Borough, Middle Street, Lower Middle Street and the High Street in Yeovil as part of the Yeovil Refresh programme.