'People want more than just retail' - council unveils new high street vision

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 November 2019

Views of Weston High Street.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Views of Weston High Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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North Somerset Council has announced it is working on a new vision for Weston town centre in response to the changing face of the high street.

Turner Works has been commissioned to work with the community and help the council shape a new set of priorities and projects that reflect the modern retail climate.

The new vision identifies economic opportunities driving forward an ambitious town centre plan, encouraging footfall inland from the seafront, challenging Weston's seasonality and enhancing the experience for visitors and the local community.

North Somerset Council will also be working closely with landlords to bring empty shops back into use, supporting new businesses and encouraging footfall into the town centre.

Mark Canniford, executive member for business, economy and employment at North Somerset Council, said: "People want more than just retail when they go shopping, they want an experience.

"High streets are changing and we must learn to keep pace with this.

"With more and more people using online retail options, we need to offer something more to entice footfall to our high street.

"There will be some really interesting engagement opportunities over the coming months with all areas of the local community.

"We want to hear what people want from their town centre, so that together we can bring about changes that we can all be proud of."

This news comes after the council received £1.2million funding to revive the high street, in September.

They also approved for a design guide to improve the physical quality and appearance of high street shops.

Carl Turner from Turner Works said: "We're delighted to be working with North Somerset Council on this exciting project.

"For the vision to impact Weston positively, we need to talk to the experts, the people who know most about Weston that includes businesses, residents and visitors.

"We need to find out what makes Weston tick, what do people love about Weston, what do they want more of?

"These conversations are integral to any future vision for Weston and we look forward to having them."

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