Project awarded £1.7million to revitalise town centre
- Credit: Archant
A project to transform Weston town centre and provide more opportunities for businesses and events has been awarded £1.7million.
North Somerset Council has been given the funding for its Weston General Stores scheme which will enable vacant retail space to be used to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, shared trading space for retailers and facilities for events.
Council leaders hope the project will increase employment, reduce out-commuting and encourage thousands more people into Weston town centre each year.
Cllr Mark Canniford, the council’s executive member for business, economy and employment, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed working patterns for many people.
“This project will support local working, and better connect those people to the town centre experience, support new trading opportunities and generate an increase in footfall across the day and throughout the week.
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“This is a fantastic opportunity take forward our placemaking in Weston and offer local people opportunities to reconnect with their town centre.”
The funding is part of the national £900m Getting Building Fund (GBF) which has been made available to councils for projects to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure.
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This investment is being targeted in areas facing the biggest economic challenges as a result of the pandemic.
Vacant town centre space will be repurposed to offer workspaces for Weston-based employers and people working away from the office.
Meeting rooms and collaborative spaces for workshops will be made available, as well as event space for teaching, learning, rehearsals and performances.
Trading space will be allocated for retail groups such as the Weston Collective, micro-manufacturers and quality food and drink.
There will be shared areas for back office functions such as printing and reference libraries, community groups will also be able to book spaces and it will also feature a cycle hub.
The project will run alongside the new primary healthcare centre planned for Weston town centre, which is being funding by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.
The council is working closely with the CCG on the new healthcare centre and an update on the plans is expected over the next few weeks.