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Major public realm works in Chard are now complete. Second phase of Chard Regeneration works commenced on 6 February.

| District

The major public realm works in Chard’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) are now complete. This extensive programme of works, funded by South Somerset District Council and Historic England, has transformed Chard town centre, helping to unlock its potential as a unique place to live, work and visit.

The programme of works, carried out by Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Limited, has delivered improvements across the town centre on Fore Street, Holyrood Street, Boden Street and the Eastern Gateway.

 

This has 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
  • Refurbishment of the Stringfellow sculpture
  • Creation of a more attractive approach to the town at the Eastern Gateway, including the commission of a cast-metal pavement plate made by a Somerset foundry

The recent emergency works on Fore Street by National Grid are ongoing for the next few weeks. This will be to repair a faulty substation, requiring the replacement of a transformer and improvement to cabling. The area will have a temporary tarmac surface, but natural paving stone will be re-laid in its place in May 2023. All the costs will be met by the National Grid.

With the public realm works complete, the next phase of the Chard HSHAZ is now underway, with the first Building Repair and Shop Front Improvement Grant now agreed. Works to Barron’s on Holyrood Street begun on 6 February and will last until the end of the month. This will include repairs to the roof and windows and a fresh coat of paint. The shop will remain open for business throughout this time. This, along with the success of ongoing Culturally Chard events and the popularity of the new leisure centre, creates a vibrant environment to help increase footfall and business in the historic town centre. Later this year, Barron’s will benefit from repairs to shopfronts and a new canopy as part of phase two of the Regeneration works.

Portfolio Holder Cllr Jason Baker said, “I am pleased to announce that we will shortly be commencing phase two of Chard Regeneration. The focus of this stage of the works will be on investing in the shops on our High Street, which will not only bring some of the key historic buildings in Chard back to life but will also reinvigorate and bolster the role of Chard as an economic centre.”

Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director at Historic England, said, “We’re delighted to see such a striking transformation in Chard. The public realm improvements are a great success – the work has brought out the town’s historic character and created an attractive and safer space for people to enjoy. The shopfront improvement scheme will take this further, giving businesses in historic premises a real boost. We would like to thank local businesses, residents and visitors for their cooperation, understanding and patience during the completed and ongoing works.”

 

For more information on the Chard Regeneration Project, including the Building Repair and Shop Front Improvement Grants and the Culturally Chard events, visit our dedicated website: www.chardregeneration.co.uk/

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