Town centre revamp will make Weston ‘stronger’
PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 July 2015
BUSINESS owners have been invited to share their views on how Weston town centre should be developed during a series of key consultations.
Earlier this year, North Somerset Council published its Prospectus For Change document, which sets out its aspirations for the town centre in years to come.
Chief among them is the goal of making Weston ‘a lively university town’ to help drive economic prosperity which leaders believe can benefit the whole of North Somerset.
The plan is to build ‘a stronger, vibrant and growing town centre’, with the wider aim of creating ‘an enhanced and attractive public realm, with new opportunities for property investment based on expanded further and high education facilities and a growth in high quality residential accommodation’.
Some early steps towards this target have already been taken, including an agreement for Weston College to take over and revamp the Winter Gardens, and a council deal to buy Weston Police Station for housing development.
The authority has now appointed specialists from a company called TownCentred to help guide the next stage.
TownCentred founder George Grace said: “The improved economy means investment and development to create a stronger town centre is a real prospect for the first time in nearly a decade.
“The council has commissioned a small team of town centre development specialists to advise on opportunities and priorities.
“However, this specialist advice must be guided by the unique knowledge and experience of local business people.”
Key questions include how residents can be attracted to local shops, which parts of the town to invest in, and how to turn Weston’s seven million annual visitors into seven million shoppers.