Heritage Action Zones

Heritage Open Days 2022

Heritage sites across Weston-super-Mare are getting ready to open their doors as people discover the impressive buildings and cultural heritage of the town as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days programme.

The free event, which is England’s largest heritage festival, will be held Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September.

You can find out more information in the Heritage Open Days brochure.

Weston has two Heritage Action Zones (HAZ) thanks to a joint investment of £2m from Historic England.

Great Weston Heritage Action Zone

North Somerset Council was awarded £800k funding and Heritage Action Zone status by Historic England in 2017. It was one of the first places in England to receive this status. This project will end in September 2022.

The Great Weston Heritage Action Zone aims to:

  • unlock potential in town centre areas that are rich in heritage
  • to bring historic places back to life
  • to attract residents, tourists, businesses and investors
  • to create economic growth

Work includes:

  • adopting Weston as a Conservation Area
  • adopting shopfront design policy
  • improving shopfronts and signage in the town centre
  • developing heritage walking routes through the town centre
  • opening up access to the Town Square and the seafront
  • publication of the book ‘Weston-super-Mare: The Town and its Seaside Heritage’ in 2019
  • creating a programme of public engagement projects including ‘Know Your Place’, an interactive mapping project
  • programming a series of major heritage exhibitions

High Street Heritage Action Zone

In 2020, North Somerset Council received a further £1.1m from Historic England when it was awarded High Street Heritage Action Zone status. This project will run until March 2024.

Work includes:

  • engaging communities with the heritage of Weston through volunteering and stakeholder initiatives
  • restoring and repairing original features in historic buildings
  • delivering a comprehensive public realm scheme to enhance Station Road, Walliscote Road and Alexandra Parade
  • improving the exterior of retail units through the delivery of a shopfront enhancement scheme
  • funding the development of training opportunities in traditional heritage conversation skills
  • delivering a cultural programme, in partnership with Culture Weston

Great Weston Conservation Area

Adopted in 2018, the Great Weston Conservation Area stretches from Birnbeck Pier in the north to Royal Sands in the south of Weston-super-Mare and includes the town centre.

Work includes:

  • developing a shopfront design guide policy for North Somerset (adopted as a supplementary planning document in September 2019)
  • developing a Local Heritage List for North Somerset (adopted autumn 2021)
  • developing article 4 Directions for Weston to remove permitted development rights on demolition of stone walls one metre or less in height

Shopfront design guide

North Somerset’s shopfront design guide was produced with support from Historic England. It sets out best practice and policies to improve the quality, historic features and appearance of local streets. These improvements will make a positive impact on both retail and visitor experience.

The guide is now available for home and business owners. If you are in the Great Weston zone area, grant opportunities are available.

Weston Stone Walls report

Stone walls are an important part of the character and heritage of large parts of Weston’s Conservation Area. In recent years many have been lost.

This report shows how stone walls add to the character of Weston, supporting the case for retaining them.

Proposed Article 4 Directions for stone walls in Weston

We propose to confirm an Article 4 Direction that covers Weston Conservation Area.

The public representation phase starts at 9am on 24 June and runs until 5pm on 22 July.

The Article 4 Direction and the plan showing the extent of the land affected can also be inspected between 09.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, at North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Walliscote Road, Weston-super-Mare.

Representations should be sent to North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Walliscote Road, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1UJ quoting reference 'Stone Walls', or sent by email to Weston.RegenerationTeam@n-somerset.gov.uk.

The relevant documents can be accessed below.

Know Your Place

A digital mapping project that is putting our neighbourhood’s heritage on the map. This interactive resource provides information on local history and properties in North Somerset.

Interactive map of Weston

This tour celebrates the rich and varied architectural heritage of the town and tells the story of how it grew into a busy seaside resort.

Weston heritage walks

Weston has beautiful heritage walks, steeped in history. Enjoy the architecture and history and don't forget to look up. 

Blue Plaque tour

Weston-super-Mare has many commemorative blue plaques. These cover notable people such as:

  • Capt George Fiott Day VC - Crimean hero who lived on Claremont Crescent
  • Kathleen Thomas - the first person to swim across the channel from Penarth to Weston in just seven and a half hours in 1927, at the age of 21

Weston Town Council has put together a blue plaque map for Weston.