Many of Weston-super-Mare’s historic shops have suffered from decades of neglect, inappropriate repairs and unsympathetic additions, with numerous properties sitting empty, but a new initiative could restore their former glory, writes Europe Breaking News.
Europe Breaking News writes:
North Somerset Council has identified 45 premises in ‘desperate’ need of enhancement and is making thousands of pounds of matched funding available to spruce up the town’s newly designated heritage action zone. It is seeking a team of consultants with expertise in repairing historic buildings, and also plans to draw up a design guide for shop fronts. A council spokesperson said: ‘As high streets across the UK are struggling, we are taking a mixed economy approach to developing a vibrant town centre. The shop front enhancement scheme is a part of our plan to encourage quality and vibrancy. Many of the shops in Weston looked tired and suffer from lack of investment in terms of quality shop frontages and signage. The grant scheme continues our proactive approach to development of a town centre. It follows on from our award-winning development of the Italian Gardens at the heart of the town centre.’
The key issues the council is keen to address are insensitively designed shopfronts and signage, the loss of architectural detailing, poor quality infill developments and insensitive building alterations. It wants to encourage the reuse of empty buildings and to retain businesses in the community. The intervention comes after the condition of shops throughout the heritage action zone was assessed and only nine per cent were found to need…
For more background and images see BristolLive