New vision for Weston town centre

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 September 2020

Weston High Street in July, 2019.   Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston High Street in July, 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A new vision for Weston to make it a healthier, greener and more prosperous place to live has been endorsed by council leaders.

Weston High Street in July, 2019.   Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston High Street in July, 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

More than 5,000 people have shaped North Somerset Council’s 10-year vision for Weston after months of engagement with businesses, community groups and organisations.

North Somerset Council’s executive endorsed the Weston Placemaking Strategy at a meeting on September 9.

The new vision outlines the regeneration and economic development for Weston town centre in response to the changing face of the high street, and the strategy is the final product of a consultation period run by Turner Works in collaboration with the council.

Turner Works ran a number of public events under the Super Weston initiative to discover what people would like to see in town.

North Somerset Councillor Mark Canniford.

Picture: MARK ATHERTONNorth Somerset Councillor Mark Canniford. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The vision for Weston focuses on helping the visitor economy and the town centre adjust to changes accelerated by coronavirus, as well as wellbeing and recreation, the town being environmentally-friendly and low-carbon, as well as a ‘great place’ to live, work and study.

North Somerset Council executive member for business, economy and employment, Mark Canniford, said: “Coronavirus is accelerating fundamental changes in town centres, with the need to encourage more people to the high street higher than ever.

“This placemaking strategy sets out a concrete plan to help Weston become a healthier, greener and more prosperous place to live, work and enjoy.

“Weston, like all towns, is suffering under Covid-19 recovery, so this is a timely piece of work, which started before the pandemic. More than 5,000 people replied on the consultation’s wishes and we had a great deal of engagement with businesses, community groups and organisations.

Weston High Street in July, 2019.   Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston High Street in July, 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“We need to make Weston a place where people want to work, live, and has great connections, where they want to play and enjoy. The town has five million visitors a year, it’s a lovely location and we really need to take advantage of that as an authority.”

The strategy was awarded a £1.7m Government grant earlier this month which will fund Weston General Stores, a project focusing on re-purposing vacant retail space in the town centre, to create space for people to work if they no longer need to commute into an office.


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