Sedgemoor District Council, as the accountable body for the Bridgwater Town Board, is pleased to announce that the Government has given the green light for the business cases of three projects within the Bridgwater Town Deal. This is great news for Sedgemoor and will mean that real progress can start.
The first project is a financial contribution towards the £100m Bridgwater Tidal Barrier. Jointly led by Sedgemoor District Council and the Environment Agency, the acceptance of the business case will see an additional £2.1m local funding towards the construction costs of the barrier. Over the coming months, the detailed technical design of the scheme will be developed and further topographic, ecology surveys and ground investigations will be carried out. Preparatory works on the site of the barrier will start in 2023 once all necessary consents are granted.
The second project within the Town Deal is a £400,000 contribution to Somerset County Council’s Dunball Junction improvements. This is a critical infrastructure project on the A38/A39 which is essential to enable the continued growth and regeneration of Bridgwater, reduce congestion, improve safety, and facilitate efficient traffic flow between the town centre, strategic employment sites, and the M5 motorway.
The third project is the Bridgwater Town Ambassadors scheme. The Town Ambassadors will provide a strong visible presence in the town centre, to help and advise shoppers and visitors to the town centre encourage safe use of the town centre and its amenities. They will also work with those at risk on the streets and potentially engaged in anti-social behaviour, affecting the enjoyment of other residents, businesses, and visitors. The four full-time and two part-time Town Wardens and Ambassadors will be the eyes and ears of a wider local support network of agencies for everyone who uses the town centre, either during the day or night.
Paul Moore, Chairman of the Bridgwater Town Deal, said: “We are at an exciting time, where the ideas and concepts formulated over the last 2 years emerge and start to become a reality. The Town Deal has a good mix of projects, ranging from investment in key infrastructure projects, through to Town Centre improvements, securing the future of Carnival, upgraded leisure facilities, and business growth opportunities. We still have a lot to do, it’s going to take few years to deliver it all. When these projects do hit the street, there will no doubt be some challenges, but we need to keep focused on the benefit of these schemes, delivering a better Bridgwater, for its residents and its visitors.”