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A Vision for Tonedale

30 June 2021 : Council news, Community

Somerset West and Taunton Council has made a bid for Government funding to help finance the restoration of Wellington’s heritage and cultural assets.

The council has asked for money from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s Levelling Up fund to help realise “A Vision for Tonedale”.

If successful the funds would provide an opportunity for SWT working in partnership with stakeholders and the community, to transform and sustainably regenerate the nationally significant heritage site at Toneworks and enhance associated land for community use.

Cllr Marcus Kravis, Executive Member for Assets, said: “The Fox’s Mill complex is an important part of our national and local industrial heritage and we are committed to ensuring this site is not only preserved for future generations but developed to its full potential over time.

“The surrounding green spaces and waterways are integral to the fabric of this site both as a place and in its identity.

“The Levelling Up bid combines the needs of the community with the salvation of the natural and built assets to the benefit of all.”

The bid is being supported by Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, who added: "This ambitious plan for Tonedale will restore and save a nationally important heritage site and a much-loved historic landmark. By focusing on this, a real sense of place will be kindled locally.

“As the Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane I fully support this bid and welcome further engagement with MHCLG on this exciting project. "

The Council purchased the Toneworks site which is home to a complex of Grade II* listed buildings using a grant from Historic England and acquired the green space adjacent to Tonedale Mill earlier this year following its designation as an Asset of Community Value.

The site known as Fox’s Field will be managed by Wellington Mills CIC and Transition Town Wellington who are working with the Council to protect it as an open, green space for the whole community.

The bid proposal seeks to deliver the next stage of repair of the Grade II* Toneworks site, bringing a building that was close to dereliction back to life with commercial, cultural and creative uses.

The acquisition of further community land will connect the heritage mill sites, improving access and connectivity whilst integrating a number of community led initiatives including additional allotments, nature conservation, youth sports pitches, forest gardens and a community farm.