After consulting with various official groups and Boards and a drop-in session in March, Sedgemoor District Council’s Executive as the accountable body for Bridgwater Town Board, has agreed to submit a £9m summary business case to Government for the fourth project under the auspices of the Bridgwater Town Deal.
The key ambition of the ‘Celebration Mile’ is to create a pedestrian and cycle friendly route from the railway station through to the retail core and on to the Northgate mixed-use commercial quarter, ending at the Docks, taking in the history of Bridgwater. The Celebration Mile will provide the golden thread that links key areas of the town centre together along with linking several Bridgwater Town Deal projects providing better access ensuring their success in the future.
Investment of Town Deal funding will support the delivery of significant public realm improvements including the creation of new places and spaces, shared areas, paving, lighting, street trees, public art and improved signage. The Celebration Mile project has been a feature of the Council’s Local Plan and Bridgwater Vision since 2009 and is split into three separate elements – Angel Crescent, Clare Street and Eastover.
The capital investment required from the Town Fund is £8.5m. Sedgemoor District Council has also previously invested £160,000 towards the technical feasibility work and is committed to provide a further £200,000 via the S106 agreements for the economic cost of congestion money as a result of Hinkley Point C.
A further £500,000 of funding has been allocated from the Town Fund for “animating the town centre” and support economic recovery through a coordinated programme of events and activities to attract visitors and support local business.
The event programme will be overseen by the Bridgwater Cultural Partnership with governance support from SDC and Bridgwater Town Council. The Bridgwater Cultural Partnership will be strengthened by the appointment of a full-time Event Co-ordinator post for just over 3 years from January 2023 to March 2026.
The summary business case will be submitted to the government who have three months to respond.