Design guide to dictate look of Weston's shopfronts and streets
PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 May 2018
A team of students has been assembled to develop guidelines for streets and shopfronts in Weston town centre.
Four architecture and planning scholars from the University of the West of England (UWE) will work alongside Weston’s Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) to develop a draft design guide for streets and shop frontages in the High Street and Orchard Meadows in a bid to aesthetically improve the town’s shopping precincts.
The HAZ project is being run by Historic England in tandem with North Somerset Council, in a bid to boost the town’s regeneration by breathing new life into Weston’s storied Victorian architecture.
The project will be based at The Stable creative hub, in Wadham Street, and Cara McMahon, the council’s heritage protection officer, believes it is the ‘perfect place’ to develop the guide.
Stable manager Kerry O’Neill added: “Our bright and contemporary shared spaces are perfect for encouraging creative thought processes.”
The council hopes improvements to the town centre can unlock investment opportunities.
Weston town centre is one of 18 HAZs overseen by Historic England across the country.
In September, the council received a £600,000 grant from a £6million Historic England kitty to kickstart the project.
In addition to the design guide, the town’s HAZ project – which launched in 2017 – plans to bring historic town-centre buildings back into use as housing, raise design and development standards in conservation areas, and improve pedestrian links to key landmarks.
An interactive map of Weston’s historic landmarks has also been created in an attempt to lure younger people to explore the town’s heritage.
Dr Sonia Dragojlovic-Olivera, senior lecturer in architecture at UWE, said: “We are pleased to be working with the HAZ scheme in Weston to consider how the town centre could benefit from enhancement.
“For the students it is an opportunity to get some experience working on a practical project that could be used to inform future development.
“The Stable facilities are a perfect location for the students to experience running their own project.”