Historic Taunton shopping area set for makeover

An historic shopping street in Taunton is set for a makeover following close collaboration between Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council and local traders.

Bath Place is in need of improvements with tired old paving slabs frequently coming loose and requiring temporary repairs.

Both Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council are contributing towards the upgrade, and worked closely with the Bath Place Traders Association to agree on a replacement material which will complement and enhance the historic area.

Work will begin on Monday 6 February and take around four weeks to complete. Shops will continue to be open as usual and workers will ensure access is maintained during business hours, although the street will need to be closed at times on Sundays when the shops are closed.

Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Bath Place is one of Taunton’s treasures and much of its charm comes from the historic feel and character. But it’s also a very popular thoroughfare and shopping area, so it’s important the surface is in a good state of repair and safe to walk on.

“A sympathetic upgrade is required and I’m pleased we’ve been able to work closely with the local business community and Taunton Deane to agree on the right approach. Finally, I’d like to apologise in advance for any short-term disruption while work is underway and encourage people to continue shopping in the area.”

Cllr Roger Habgood, Taunton Deane Borough Council’s Executive Member for Planning and Transportation, said: “It’s great to see this progressing which is the result of positive working with the traders and our colleagues at Somerset County Council.

“This will ensure that this historic area can continue to move forwards over the next few years and builds on their success in the national Great British High Street Awards. Bath Place is most certainly Taunton’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ with a wonderful mix of niche shops. It is great to see we’re all working together to ensure it continues to be a special place to visit and shop.”

Nancy Murgatroyd, owner of the Harlequin Gallery, said: “Bath Place Traders Association is always working hard to enhance our lovely historic street packed with independent businesses.

“After lengthy discussions with Taunton Deane and Somerset County Council it has been agreed that our walkway through Bath Place will be replaced with a new, safer surface which is in keeping with the street.

“We are really excited about this big improvement but will have to live through a few weeks of inconvenience whilst the work take place. Our shops will remain open and accessible, so we apologise in advance to all our customers and hope they will still come and visit us and see our super new street emerging.”

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