Following earlier consultation on the Vision for Bridgwater, an ambitious plan seeking £25 m of government investment was submitted at the end of January.
The plan is unashamedly bold and designed to re-energise the town centre whilst also unlocking wider housing and employment growth.
If successful, the proposals will help unlock over £160 m of further public and private investment in our town, stimulating billions more in local economic and community benefits.
Bridgwater was one of 101 towns asked by the Government to come up with plans for sustainable regeneration over the next 30 years. The proposals submitted have been overseen by the Bridgwater Town Deal Board comprising representatives from all tiers of local government together with community and business partners; all committed ambassadors of Bridgwater and its economic potential.
The plan aims to broaden and diversify what the town has to offer, making the town centre more family friendly and walkable. It will inspire our residents to develop their own business propositions, galvanise our cultural programme and historic venues, making it exciting and inspiring for residents and visitors and support our existing local businesses to recover from the negative impacts of Covid-19
Key projects designed to future-proof the social, cultural and economic recovery of our town centre include improvement to the Bridgwater Arts Centre as it enters its 75th Anniversary, investment in the Town Hall Theatre and support for the planned restoration and regeneration of Bridgwater Docks.
The Board’s independent chairperson, Fiona McMillan, said: “This is a vital opportunity to shape the next chapter of Bridgwater’s economic success and pave the way for its recovery in a post-Covid world”.
Councillor Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council echoed these thoughts commenting: “We are proud of the progress made in shaping the plan and look forward, with enthusiasm, to realise a strong future for Bridgwater”.
A summary of the submission document will be published soon on the Council’s web site and we hope to get feedback from government by the end of March. Once funding is approved ‘in-principle’ more detailed work will commence on design proposals alongside wider community engagement to further shape our plans to meet local needs.