The buildings to benefit from funding are 132 and 134 High Street, most recently operating as the ‘Lamplighters pub’ and the ‘Stage Door’ restaurant, café and bar. Once renovated, 132 High Street will reopen as a new pub called ‘The Albert’.
Work is expected to take approximately four weeks, and includes:
- replacement of the existing shopfronts including surrounds, stallrisers, new timber framed glazing, entrance doors, awnings, shop signage,
- replacement of existing lighting fittings, to be replicated along the fascia, and
- repair or like for like replacement of windows on the upper floors.
A representative from Claremont Somerset Ltd, the company that owns 132 High Street, said: “This heritage funding scheme is really positive and we’ve already seen how it’s benefitting other buildings in the town. I’m excited that our building is the next project to be restored to its former glory”.
Dave Bailey, business owner of The Stage Door Bar and Restaurant, said: “It’s exciting that work is starting and we’re very much looking forward to seeing the result. We hope that the building’s makeover will encourage more people to visit and we look forward to showing off our new look to customers new and old.
“I would like to take this opportunity to reassure customers that we will remain open as much as possible throughout the works. Please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates”.
Councillor Mark Canniford, Executive Member for Business, Economy and Employment at North Somerset Council, said: “There’s a real momentum building with Weston’s Shopfront Enhancement Scheme. We now have four properties in construction phase, spanning the length of the High Street.
“It’s great to see work starting on these two latest projects – both beautiful, listed buildings. As well as making a positive difference to their physical appearance, I’m sure that this work will help encourage more footfall and trade into the town.”
Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director at Historic England, said: “Historic shopfronts bring so much character and interest to our town centres. Collectively, they create a unique sense of place which is appealing to visitors, shoppers and the local community. We’re delighted that the Weston scheme is proving so attractive to local businesses and look forward to seeing 132 and 134 High Street once repaired.”
The first three businesses to take advantage of the town’s Shopfront Enhancement Scheme were:
- Walker and Ling, a family-run department store (84-86 High Street),
- the Fork n Ale Taproom and Kitchen, a popular town centre independent restaurant, bar and music venue (18 Walliscote Road), and
- the old Kendall’s building now housing eleven business units including Greggs, Weston Hospicecare and Coffee #1 (corner of the High Street and Regent Street).
Funded by Historic England, the Shopfront Enhancement Scheme is open to priority properties within Weston’s Heritage Action Zones.
Weston has two Heritage Action Zones in its town centre thanks to a combined investment of £2m from Historic England. The Shopfront Enhancement Scheme is part of this work and will run until March 2024. More details can be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/heritageactionzone