Businesses encouraged to support proposal to transform town centre

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 June 2019

W H Smith restored and reopened

W H Smith restored and reopened

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Plans to transform shopping areas have been proposed through the new shopfront design guide.

The shop front design guide will open for consultation next week.The shop front design guide will open for consultation next week.

North Somerset Council is calling on local businesses, town council and developers to give their views on the proposed guide.

The authority created the guide through its Heritage Action Zone with the support of Historic England.

It sets out the best practice and recommendations to improve the physical quality and appearance of streets which will positively impact the retail and visitor experience.

The draft document sets out clear guidance on how to achieve high standards of design for shop fronts and for conversions from retail to residential.

W H Smith restored and reopenedW H Smith restored and reopened

Cllr James Tonkin, executive member for planning, said: "North Somerset has a range of shopping opportunities from individual businesses through to national brands.

"This guide is about working with owners and traders to improve the look and design of their shops.

"Our aim is to ensure residents and visitors spend locally with these businesses, benefit from an enjoyable shopping and leisure experience, and make sure our heritage assets are enhanced and put to a viable use consistent with their conservation."

WHSmith is the first to conform to the new proposed guidelines in Weston after completing an 18-month-long renovation.

More: Revamped shop front for Weston's WH Smith revealed.

The bookshop chain moved inside to the Sovereign Shopping Centre for the last eight months of its development.

The store's Georgian history was highlighted in the new design, with ornate work from the early 20th century being brought back to life once again.

In the centre of this work is the quote by William Shakespeare which reads: "Come and take a choice of all my library and so beguile thy sorrow."

The Heritage Action Zone has already seen WHSmith, Costa and CEX remove their bold-coloured boards and instead install their logo on the building itself.

The zone is part of the Weston Town Centre Regeneration Programme which is delivering improvements to key sites within the town and encouraging investment.

The consultation will be available from Monday until August 12 at www.consult.n-somerset.gov.uk/consult.ti

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