SWT secures funding for Future High Streets




Somerset West and Taunton Council has received just under £ 14million to help it implement its ambitious proposals to turn our main streets into vibrant hubs for future generations.

The £ 13.9million allocation from the Future High Streets Fund will be used for Active Travel links in Taunton town center, including cycling and pedestrian improvements, as well as to help redevelop Coal Orchard and Firepool.

The price includes a specific allocation for an outdoor performance space (amphitheater) in Firepool which is part of the site’s original public domain design, and is in addition to the multi-purpose site proposal which is the subject of feasibility studies and ongoing discussions.

The Council worked with the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government to review and prioritize projects after the interim offer was made, accounting for 69% of the original offer for funding of £ 20.2million sterling.

SWT CEO Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts said: “I am delighted that we have secured this funding which represents a real opportunity to improve our retail environment and achieve our growth aspirations, by creating a place where people want to live, work and shop.

“The award will help implement our ambitious regeneration plans, helping to protect and create jobs, and provide opportunity and prosperity to our communities. “

The news was welcomed by Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, who has championed the SWT case. She said: “I warmly welcome the news that Taunton will receive almost £ 14million in government funding from the Future High Streets Fund.

“I have worked hard locally with stakeholders to help secure this funding and after an incredibly difficult year this investment will help our inner cities to rebuild better and make them a more attractive place to live, work and visit then. as we recover from the pandemic. “

The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 and is a key part of the government’s plan to renew and reshape city centers, spurring long-term growth.

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