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SWT wins through first round of Future High Streets funding

10 July 2019

SWT has been successful in the first round of bids for the Government’s Future High Streets Fund to support its plans to make the town centre fit for the future.

The Council was one of 50 areas in the country and only two in Somerset chosen to go through to the second phase of the multi-million fund.

SWT will now receive initial funding to work up detailed project proposals, based on its submitted plans.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will work closely with officers, focussing on the opportunity to accelerate projects that are already sufficiently advanced.

The Council had invited members of the public and the business community to submit ideas that could qualify for the fund which will contribute up to a maximum of £25 million to each successful place.

The bid from SWT included the proposed pedestrianisation of some town centre streets, contributions towards the Coal Orchard regeneration scheme, the establishment of an investment fund to acquire and develop key sites and premises, and a range of pedestrian and cycling improvements.

Cllr Marcus Kravis, Executive Member for Economic Development, said: “This is fantastic news for the Council and the town. It presents a real opportunity to enhance our retail environment and create a place that people really want to live, work and shop.

Success in the next round will guarantee the support we need to deliver our aspirations for growth that will make our county town more prosperous in the future.”

Projects in the bid will work alongside those already undertaken such as the introduction of pay on exit parking, improvements to pavements, and development proposals for Firepool.