Weston-super-Mare town centre regeneration
Heritage Action Zone
The Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) has been created following a national £6m investment from Heritage England. The aims of the HAZ are to unlock potential in areas that are rich in heritage by bringing historic places back to life to attract residents, tourists, businesses and investors, and create economic growth.
The HAZ will focus on supporting the ongoing regeneration of the town’s centre. Plans include bringing buildings back into use as quality housing, developing clear heritage routes within the town centre to enhance existing trails through the town to the beach and train station, and opening up new pedestrian access to Weston Museum, Town Square and the seafront, as well as improving shop fronts and signage in the town centre.
Great Weston Conservation Area
The North Somerset Council Executive has adopted the proposed Great Weston Conservation Area, which will come into effect January 2019.
The Great Weston Conservation Area stretches from Birnbeck Pier to Royal Sands and includes the town centre of Weston. Including the town centre in the Conservation Area, HAZ will gain access to the partnership grants scheme from Historic England. The grants scheme will generate at least £500k from Historic England over the next four years to enhance shop fronts. It will also engage the council with shop owners and residents as partners and stakeholders in the shaping of Weston as a quality place to live, work and enjoy.
HAZ is part of the Weston Town Centre Regeneration Programme that is delivering improvements to key development sites and positively encouraging investment within the town.
Shop front design guide
Produced with support from Historic England through the Weston Heritage Action Zone, the shopfront design guide sets out best practice and policies to improve the physical quality, historic features and appearance of local streets that will positively impact the retail and visitor experience. The Shop Front Design guide is now available for home and business owners and if you are in the Great Weston HAZ area, grant opportunities are available.
New High Street Heritage programme
North Somerset Council has successfully bid to Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone fund to a sum of £1.2m to create a new High Street Heritage programme.
The new programme area in Weston, which is in addition, and separate to, the existing Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), will focus on Weston-super-Mare’s southern High Street around Oxford Street and North Walliscote Road for works over four years. Future activities will include:
• Community engagement – to help shape the delivery and sustainability of the new programme through volunteering and stakeholder initiatives
• Public realm and restoration of architectural features – the restoration and repair of original street features, improved lighting, paving, street furniture and bringing back original architectural characteristics
• Development and management of a shop front enhancement grants scheme, improving the exterior of retail units and reinstatement of historical features
• Conversions to new homes – working with property owners to support the sympathetic, appropriate and high-quality conversion of uppers floors, empty units and potentially bringing forward up to 20 new homes in the town centre
• Arts/culture projects – working with the Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the local community, supporting the development of a cultural arts programme of projects
• Explore the development of training opportunities in traditional conversation skills, building on the work of the current HAZ, and in partnership with local providers