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Recommendation for additional investment agreed as improvements continue to Yeovil Town Centre

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On Thursday (17 February), South Somerset District Council’s District Executive Committee voted unanimously in favour of recommending additional funding for the Yeovil Refresh project. The recommendation will go to Full Council later in the month.

The Yeovil Refresh project aims to create a town centre that is a vibrant place to live, work and visit. This ambitious programme is split into four themes: major developments, public realm (pedestrian areas) enhancements, transport system and soft intervention (for example, events and markets). The project is currently in its delivery phase, with construction work to the high street public realm already underway.

Since the Yeovil Refresh budget was set in July 2021, we have seen a significant increase in the cost of materials and labour. As well as delays in supply chains and other impacts of the pandemic, including staff sickness. These pressures on project costs have meant that this budget is no longer sufficient. Therefore, the council sought the approval to revise the budget – increasing the capital budget by £1.059m to bring the project total to £21.838m.

This revised capital budget, will allow all areas identified in the Yeovil Refresh public realm plan to be delivered, including the remaining work around Wyndham Street.

Councillor Peter Gubbins, executive member for Yeovil Refresh, said, “I am very pleased to see how far the Yeovil Refresh work has progressed, with construction work already taking place throughout the main streetsdespite the challenges the industry has faced in the last year. Securing this additional funding allows the whole town centre, including its businesses, residents and visitors, to benefit from the programme.”

More information on Yeovil Refresh and the programme of work to the public realm can be found on our dedicated website: www.yeovilrefresh.co.uk/publicrealm

What is happening to the Cattle Market and Bus Station?

The Cattle Market/Vincents Yard and Glovers Walk/the Bus Station are included in the Yeovil Refresh programme as major developments. After receiving funding from the Government as part of the Future High Streets Funding Grant, South Somerset District Council are working with the property owners, local stakeholders and third party developers to deliver a regeneration plan. These are extremely complex sites and, with the recent added pressures to the industry, at this moment a feasible plan had not been secured.

Therefore, the council also sought the approval of the recommendation to create a reserve of £4.784m to cover the risk of any potential pay back of the Future High Streets Funding grant to date, should a plan for these sites not be secured within the time frame. This recommendation was agreed by the District Executive Committee and will be brought to Full Council alongside of the recommendation to revise the capital budget of Yeovil Refresh programme.

Any updates to the Yeovil Refresh major development sites will be available on the Yeovil Refresh website here: www.yeovilrefresh.co.uk/majordevelopmentsites

How has the Midas administration affected Yeovil Refresh progress?

We understand that this is a difficult time and would like to thank Midas for all their work on the Yeovil Refresh project to this date. The terms of the South Somerset Public Realm Framework mean that there is a remedy in place to deal with such occurrences and we can confirm that we are working to resolve the situation to ensure that work on Westminster Street can restart as quickly as possible.

We would like to emphasise that we take the signing of contracts very seriously, especially for a procurement of this size, and due diligence is always carried out before any contract is agreed. This includes financial checks, credit checks, the signing of parent company guarantees and the inclusion of further warranties.

South West Highways (SWH) are the appointed contractors for the work to Wine Street and The Triangle and this work is continuing to progress as planned.

Any further Yeovil Refresh news will be posted on the Yeovil Refresh website: www.yeovilrefresh.co.uk/latestnews

Images – Work progressing in Wine Street. The paving work is almost complete, will a final course due shortly.

Work progressing in Wine Street

Work progressing at Wine Street

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