AMBITIOUS plans to unlock £25m of Government funding to 're-energise' Bridgwater have been submitted by Sedgemoor District Council (SDC).

The council submitted the plan at the end of January following a public consultation and said it is 'unashamedly bold and designed to re-energise the town centre whilst also unlocking wider housing and employment growth.'

If successful, SDC said the proposals will help unlock more than £160m of further public and private investment in Bridgwater, stimulating billions more in local economic and community benefits.

Bridgwater was one of 101 towns asked by the Government to come up with plans for sustainable regeneration over the next 30 years.

The plans submitted by SDC have been overseen by the Bridgwater Town Deal Board which comprises of representatives from all tiers of local government together with community and business partners who are all committed ambassadors of Bridgwater and its economic potential.

The Board’s independent chairperson, Fiona McMillan, said: “This is a vital opportunity to shape the next chapter of Bridgwater’s economic success and pave the way for its recovery in a post-Covid world."

SDC said the plan aims to 'broaden and diversify what the town has to offer' and make the town centre 'more family friendly and walkable'.

The council said it will also inspire residents to develop their own business propositions, 'galvanise' the town's cultural programme and historic venues, make Bridgwater an 'exciting and inspiring' place for residents and visitors and support the town's existing local businesses to recover from the negative impacts of Covid-19.

A number of key projects which are designed to 'future-proof the social, cultural and economic recovery' of Bridgwater have been included in the plan.

These include: Improvements to the Bridgwater Arts Centre as it enters its 75th Anniversary, investment in the Town Hall Theatre and support for the planned restoration and regeneration of Bridgwater Docks.

Councillor Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council echoed these thoughts commenting: “We are proud of the progress made in shaping the plan and look forward, with enthusiasm, to realise a strong future for Bridgwater."

A summary of the submission document will be published soon on Sedgemoor District Council’s website.

The council said it hopes to get feedback from government by the end of March.

Once funding is approved ‘in-principle’ more detailed work will commence on design proposals alongside wider community engagement to further shape the council's plans to meet local needs.