BRIDGWATER NEWS: Council unveils exciting plans for town centre

BRIDGWATER NEWS: Council unveils exciting plans for town centre

SEDGEMOOR District Council is investing multi-millions-of-pounds to support its ambition to establish a thriving day time and evening town centre economy in Bridgwater.

The council has said the scheme will complement the housing, employment and new jobs growth of currently happing in Bridgwater and Sedgemoor.

Exciting plans were revealed on Wednesday (May 23, 2018) as to the future redevelopment of the Northgate site in the centre of Bridgwater and have been the result of extensive consultation.

The scheme will provide a great new space for people to enjoy their leisure time, as well as make positive links to the existing town centre shops, bars and restaurants.

The leisure-based scheme will have six-screen cinema; four restaurants; a gym and 111 parking spaces, as well as improved open space on the Brewery Field.

At a confidential, commercially-sensitive meeting of Sedgemoor District Council, members agreed an budget which will pay for all the preparatory works for redevelopment of the Northgate site, in particular, Mount Street and improvements to the Brewery Field, right up to the start of building.BRIDGWATER NEWS: Council unveils exciting plans for town centre

A business case has been written and agreed, but exact costs are unknown at present, as they are dependent on the final designs.

The scheme will be funded by Sedgemoor District Council as a means of generating income, as national government funding is finally removed.

The council has prepared a masterplan and planning application, which included provision for a leisure scheme, primary school, retail, additional town centre car parking and enhancement of the Brewery Field open space.  The entire site was originally jointly-owned between Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council.

The majority of the county council site has already been developed - the Northgate Primary School is now open alongside the new Blake car park and recent announcements will see Aldi relocate to the site to open a new format supermarket, subject to planning permission.

However, there is still a little way to go before any building works get underway on the remainder of the site.  The processes that need to happen are:

·        Put together a Design Team who will  carry out surveys and agree terms with a cinema operator plus the gym or one restaurant.

·        Design team instructed to progress planning scheme.

·        Design team instructed to progress tender.

·        Appoint Contactors and start Construction - June 2019.

·        Potential opening date of Spring 2021.

Part of the funding agreed today will be set aside to enhance the Brewery Field. The plan is to create a destination Town Centre Park.

Consultation on the enhancement scheme will take place in due course with members of the community and key stakeholder groups. Further details on this part of the project will be released at a later date.