Final regeneration works to Chard High Street begin
As part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone, the final major works to the Chard High Street public realm began this week (Monday 26 September).
Contractors, Alun Griffiths, have commenced work on Fore Street to ensure that the area meets the council’s original specification.
After listening to local businesses and residents, the Chard Regeneration Board agreed on the 14 September that, rather than rectify the gradient on Fore Street, the area will be returned to tarmac.
This work is the final stage of the public realm regeneration, with only minor tasks still to be completed. It follows the completed improvement work to Holyrood Street, Boden Street and the Eastern Gateway, which included:
- repaving the pavements with natural stone - enhancing the historic character of the town and its Conservation Area
- improving the setting of heritage features, including the unique water rills
- widening the pavements in key locations to increase accessibility and safety
- planting new trees and flower beds
- decluttering street furniture
- creating new cycle parking and seating areas
The newly refurbished Stringfellow sculpture has recently been reinstated, marking the successful completion of these major works.
A site visit will take place this week to address any potential issues to be rectified. This work will take place over the upcoming weeks.
We understand that the disruption has caused some inconvenience and frustration. We would like to thank local businesses, residents and visitors for their cooperation, understanding and patience during this time.
Portfolio holder for Chard Regeneration, Cllr Jason Baker, said; “It is fantastic to see the final improvement works to Chard high street taking place; it is a major step towards making Chard a better place to work, live and visit.
It is also great to hear of the kindness and positivity shown to the onsite construction workers throughout this process, including the ‘badges of honour’ received from pupils of Chard School and the compliments of the workers’ lovely singing voices!
I am looking forward to celebrating the completion of the works and providing Chard residents with a town centre to feel proud of and a place where communities can come together.”
Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director at Historic England, said: “The near completion of the public realm improvements in Chard is a moment to celebrate. The high street has a wealth of distinctive features including the historic rills – or watercourses – which have now been skilfully restored. The project has created a vibrant and people-friendly space, which we hope will be enjoyed for generations to come.”
The next phase of the Chard Regeneration is now underway, with the first High Street Heritage Action Zone Building Repair and Shop Front Improvement Grants currently being agreed. This, along with the success of ongoing Culturally Chard events and popularity of the new leisure centre, will further add the rejuvenated environment and increase footfall and business to the historic town centre. For more information on the Chard Regeneration Project, including the public realm works, Building Repair and Shop Front Grant and the Culturally Chard events, visit our dedicated website: www.chardregeneration.co.uk/
What is the 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 are being 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 has 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.
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.
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.
To find out what is happening in your area and get involved, please follow @HistoricEngland, #HistoricHighStreets and visit www.HistoricEngland.org.uk/HighStreetCulture