Funding success for new town centre ‘pocket park’

A project to create a ‘pocket park’ in Weston-super-Mare town centre has been successful in a bid for government funding.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has awarded a grant of £15,000 to Weston-super-Mare Business Improvement District for a project to enhance the public space outside the building known as The Centre on Walliscote Road.

The project is another step in the ambitious programme of regeneration which North Somerset Council and its partners are working on to create a more vibrant and prosperous town centre.

Opportunities to introduce more planting and greenery are a key part of the plans to develop more attractive public spaces. Work on the regeneration programme to date has highlighted introducing more planting as something which would significantly improve the appeal of the town centre.

The pocket park or ‘micro park’ will include planters, seating and bike stands and will be created on the recently widened pavement outside The Centre (opposite the Old Town Hall). This will create a more attractive space and encourage people to visit the interesting range of independent traders within The Centre building, as well as providing a more attractive view for residents who live above the shops.

With the council’s forthcoming development of modern urban apartments at Walliscote Place, just a stone’s throw from The Centre, and construction now well under way at Dolphin Square, the pocket park is part of a growing momentum of improvement for this part of the town.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council Deputy Leader with responsibility for strategic planning, highways and transport, economic development and housing, said: “The welcome news that the Government has awarded funding to enhance the space outside The Centre supports the work we are already doing with the community there to help develop a joint approach to improving this prominent building.

“It also complements our bold plans for the adjacent Walliscote Place site, which offers a real opportunity to invest in high quality urban living and focus on economic growth.

“Making our streets and public spaces more attractive for residents and visitors is an important part of our ambitious plans to develop a more vibrant and prosperous town centre which is attractive to people as a place to live.”

Steve Townsend, Town Centre Manager, said: “The Centre has a thriving community with several new businesses having opened their doors in recent months, including a new florist and a bike shop.

“The pocket park will offer people more of an opportunity to see The Centre as a place to stop, rather than just to pass en route to the rest of the town centre. Improving the public space outside will invite people to visit the interesting range of businesses in a part of the town which is undergoing a real revival.”​