Council to kick-start heritage regeneration in Weston-super-Mare

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 September 2017

Historian John Crockford-Hawley, Cecil Walkers owner Tim Walker, Town Centre Regeneration team member Chris Ward and Ross Simmonds from Historic England at the official launch of the Heritage Action Zone.

Historian John Crockford-Hawley, Cecil Walkers owner Tim Walker, Town Centre Regeneration team member Chris Ward and Ross Simmonds from Historic England at the official launch of the Heritage Action Zone.

Archant

North Somerset Council has taken the first steps to rejuvenate Weston-super-Mare's heritage.

The council has hired project officer Cara MacMahon to work with Historic England as part of a £6million nationwide project to bring historic places back to life.

The council was handed £600,000 from Historic England to create a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) where there will be a wide range of regeneration to some of the town’s historic buildings.

The money will also be used for community events.

Ms MacMahon said: “Over the next three years we will be working with local businesses, residents and community groups to develop projects which will seek to enhance the perception of this beautiful town as a great place to live, work and enjoy.

“We will be looking to bring buildings back into use as quality housing, introduce shop front improvements, develop clear heritage routes within the town centre to enhance existing trails through the town to the beach and train station, and open up new pedestrian access to Weston Museum, Italian Gardens and the seafront.

“The HAZ project is a real opportunity to engage with the local community to celebrate and enjoy the wonderful hidden gems that Weston has.”

Weston is the only town in the South West to be named in the first schemes chosen by Historic England.

The action zone is part of the town’s regeneration project which has seen the new Italian Gardens opened, progress at Dolphin Square and a new road layout in Alexandra Parade.

No sites have been confirmed but Weston’s old library and former police station are two of the places which will be looked at.

The council hopes to use the money to create a lively university town with strong railway and road links.

The council’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said the zone will bring historic places ‘back to life’ in the hope of attracting more people to Weston.

South West Historic England planning director Andrew Vines said: “We are delighted Cara has been appointed to this exciting role and we are looking forward to working with her.”

The council will now look at which areas it could target for development.

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