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A busy final year for SSDC's Wincanton Town Centre regeneration scheme

Tuesday 8 March 2022, 18:10
By South Somerset District Council

Wincanton Town Hall and Market Place, with a graphic from the Town Centre Strategy document cleverly superimposed on the sky

As the South Somerset District Council Wincanton Town Centre Regeneration enters its final year, Councillors have agreed a new budget of £2.39m, which will enable the regeneration plans for the town to be completed by March 2023.

The recommendation for the revised budget was approved by Full Council last week on the evening of Monday 28th February.

What is the Wincanton Town Centre Strategy?

The Wincanton Town Centre Strategy seeks to improve the attractiveness of the town centre by creating an environment where businesses wish to trade and spaces which people will visit and want to spend time. The project comprises a range of initiatives including physical infrastructure and property improvements, as well as softer interventions.

At the heart of the regeneration strategy are improvements to the public realm - widening footways, updating crossing points, complimentary planting schemes and other upgrades to enhance the attractiveness and safety of key locations in the town centre.

How is it all going?

It has been a challenging year for the construction industry and local contractors. However, despite initial setbacks, designs are being finalised and tenders will be invited in early March for three public realm schemes:

  • Market Place
  • Carrington Way
  • Central High Street

The approval of the budget will now allow a property grant programme to commence, with an initial call for applications at the end of March to property owners whose properties have been identified as requiring urgent and high level works.

Funding has already been awarded for 18 town centre events and activities with support from the grant programme. The grant supports events which have the potential to be viable in the longer term, helping boost town centre footfall and encourage people to visit the town centre and support local businesses now and in the future. Events successfully took place throughout 2021, with more exciting activities planned for 2022.

“Wincanton has a great character and a wealth of independent shops. I am pleased to see the regeneration strategy progressing with so many brilliant activities and events already taking place and increasing footfall to the town centre. With the public realm phase of the programme due to begin this year, alongside the property grant programme and further events that have secured funding, it is an exciting time for the residents, businesses and visitors of Wincanton.”

 - Councillor Henry Hobhouse, portfolio holder for Wincanton Town Centre Strategy

Why was a change to the budget needed?

When the original budget of £5.673m was approved in 2019, it included £3.2m for the anticipated purchase and redevelop the White Horse (a long time vacant Grade II Listed coaching inn on the ‘at risk’ register). This involvement was always seen as a last resort that would only come into play if the commercial market weren’t bringing forward a solution for the site. Since the current owners acquired the site, they have been actively engaging with planning to bring forward a solution for the building. So the position now is very different to that in 2019. This means that, although the overall budget figure reduced, the actual capital available to deliver the rest of the programme remains broadly the same.

You can find out more about the Wincanton Town Centre Strategy and the work we are doing on our website.


Related articles

15th August 2020: Events and Activity Grants available as part of Wincanton Town Centre Regeneration
19th July 2019: Planning the future of Wincanton
18th July 2019: Another step forward for SSDC's Wincanton Town Centre Strategy
15th January 2019: Wincanton Town Centre Strategy draft is now available for public consultation


Colin Winder
Posts: 1
Wincanton town centre regeneration
Reply #1 on : Fri March 11, 2022, 13:11:37
In my school days, we were taught applied Maths, and Pure Maths, there now appears to be a new form of maths, best described as POLITICAL MATHS, beloved of national companies, and political organisations. This enables companies and authorities to present financial figures and facts in an "acceptable" manner to best cover up the realities.
This week, we had a perfect example in the South Somerset District Council press release (TUS 1st Mar) following the council meeting on Monday. Under "what new spending" in the 2022 Budget Programme, we find "additional allowances to support the Yeovil Refresh and Wincanton Regeneration schemes". In the case of Wincanton, a reduction of £3.28M on the agreed 2019 budget.
In the Wednesday’s Press Release, reference is made "To a busy final year for Wincanton". A new budget of £2.39M of which £1.1M is now allocated for major work to the town centre. The original four areas have now been reduced to one and part of a second, with no detailed scheme or contract for the remaining project yet in place.

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