The full £23.2million funding for Bridgwater has been secured following government approval of the final three business cases within the Bridgwater Town Deal, ensuring all eleven projects will now go ahead.
The Bridgwater Carnival, Docks Restoration and Walking & Cycling projects were the last three business cases to be submitted to the government by the Bridgwater Town Deal Board. Following recent confirmation that the full amounts requested for these projects have been granted, delivery of the final three Town Deal projects can now get underway.
Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said: “This is truly excellent news for Bridgwater. Anyone who has known or lived in the town for any length of time will be fully aware of how grants such as these have been so wisely put to work to transform Bridgwater’s image from that of a run-down and neglected industrial centre to a dynamic and forward-looking community with a really vibrant atmosphere. I couldn’t be more delighted that we are about to witness another step in that enhancement process.”
Cllr Ros Wyke, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Prosperity, Assets & Development, said: “Securing the full £23.2m funding package for Bridgwater is a fantastic achievement and means we will be able to press forward and deliver all eleven projects. This is a huge opportunity to provide the town’s residents and businesses with lasting social, economic and cultural benefits. We look forward to seeing the plans become a reality over the coming months.”
Paul Moore, Chairman of the Bridgwater Town Deal Board, said: “This is brilliant news for Bridgwater, it’s a big step forward from all the planning and development work to have now secured the full £23.2million. All eleven Bridgwater Town Deal projects are now on the launch pad or in flight for delivery which makes the coming months an exciting time for the town, as local residents and businesses will begin to see these projects unfold.”
The final three Bridgwater Town Deal projects to have been confirmed are:
Bridgwater Carnival (£3m)
Delivering new workshops to safeguard the future of Carnival and encourage greater community participation, representing Phase 1 of a longer-term redevelopment of the existing Carnival sheds site off the A38 Bristol Road in Bridgwater. Along with match funding from the HPC (Hinkley Point C) Community Fund, which is managed by Somerset Community Foundation, this project will look to deliver improved access, drainage and five new workshops on the site.
Bridgwater Docks Restoration (£4.2m)
Restoration of the historic Docks quarter, creating a new residential, leisure and tourism destination in the town. This will stimulate commercial regeneration and growth, as well as creating a sustainable and appealing living environment. With easy access to the town centre and the adjacent Northgate Yard development, the regeneration of the Docks area will reconnect and re-energise the town.
Walking & Cycling (£1m)
Delivering walking and cycling links between local employment areas and Bridgwater town centre, including the soon-to-be-regenerated Docks area. This project will widen the opportunity for active travel, affordable access to employment areas and increased leisure.
Bridgwater was chosen as one of 101 towns that would receive investment through the government’s Towns Fund scheme as part of its Levelling Up programme. The £23.2million investment will fund eleven different projects in the town, with the aim being to ‘level up’ the area and create a vibrant and welcoming town centre. This will be achieved by revitalising the social, cultural and economic offerings in town centre, as well as unlocking future growth by resolving traffic congestion and protecting the area from tidal flooding.