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SWT supporting the independent quarter this Christmas

02 December 2021 : Council news, Planning and development

SWT is giving a festive boost to traders in Taunton’s independent quarter this Christmas.

The Council is hoping to encourage people to visit the many unique retailers and businesses around St James Street, Riverside Place and the Courtyard.

It is providing festive lighting and decorations, along with extra signage to the area. There will also be live music at an event to celebrate Small Business Saturday on 4 December.

Now in its ninth year in the UK, the national Small Business Saturday campaign encourages consumers to 'shop local' and support small businesses in their communities.

The initiative is being taken to help boost footfall in the area where the Council’s regeneration development is nearing completion.

A temporary footpath is being created through the site to allow access into Riverside Place and past the Brewhouse from the bridge at Morrisons for the Christmas period.

The Council’s development partner Midas Construction is delivering the Coal Orchard regeneration which will see a mix of apartments, retail, workspace, and restaurants.

The project includes significant improvements to public spaces around the site including a terrace down to the river, creating a new accessible plaza at the water’s edge.

The Quay and the Wharf will be the first accommodation blocks finished to be complete and handed over, with the Jetty following.

Cllr Marcus Kravis, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “The Council wants to help the retail community in this area thrive with the creation of spaces that are attractive and inviting with fewer vehicles and less pollution leading to increased investment.

“Our contractor is working to a target date for handover of the site by March 2022, but this is in the context that there are still challenges being faced nationally in sourcing some materials and labour.

“The Council is working with them to open sections of the public realm for the Christmas period to ensure visitors can easily access the area which is home to many independent retailers and businesses.

“Ultimately the development will bring new vitality to the area retaining the character of this town centre location while enhancing the environment and putting the River Tone at the heart of Taunton.”

Despite the country-wide issues facing the construction industry the Council has already secured lettings or taken reservations on 29 of the 40 apartments and has received a number of expressions of interest in the commercial units.

Potential homeowners and people wanting to register an interest in the commercial units at Taunton’s prime riverside quarter can visit Riverside at Coal Orchard for more information.