A flagship regeneration scheme in Bridgwater will be completed in the autumn despite setbacks caused by recent storms, the district council has promised.

Sedgemoor District Council has committed millions of pounds towards the Northgate site on Mount Street, aiming to deliver a new seven-screen cinema, bowling alley, and restaurants.

Construction begin in May 2021, with councillors hoping that both the new build and the improvements to the nearby Brewery Field would be completed in full by October 2022.

The council has now stated it expects to meet this deadline, despite setbacks caused by Storm Eunice and other associated extreme weather.

Simon Tandy, the council’s corporate performance manager, provided an update on the Northgate Yard scheme at a meeting of the council’s executive committee in Bridgwater on Wednesday morning (March 16).

He said in his written report: “Following the recent winds, three days’ delay has been incurred – and although we are awaiting update from the contractor on programme, there is still enough time to regain time lost.

“The handover to the occupiers is still scheduled for May and June, with the scheme opening in October.”

Work on the new cinema, described as “the critical path” for the entire scheme, is said to be “progressing well”, with the official architect having recently visited the site and stating they were “content with the progress an quality of the build”.

The building which will house the new bowling alley and restaurants is “accelerating”, with the final concrete pour due to be shortly completed.

Regarding the Brewery Field green space, the new pond and swale system has been installed, with the new stepping stones being sourced, trees being planted and the Celebration Mile section being widened.

Mr Tandy said: “Discussions with the prospective restaurant operators has progressed well, with expressions of interest from a good number of operators received as well as offers on the table.

“These are currently being negotiated and we anticipate that the heads of terms will be reached shortly.

“We have interest from international, national, regional, and local operators, and have a good chance of being able to open the scheme fully occupied.”

In addition to the on-site construction, contractor Willmott Dixon has been working with the Trussell Trust to reconfigure the existing food bank on Mount Street, allowing it to store more food to meet local need.

Mr Tandy said there was £100,000 remaining within the council’s contingency for the Northgate Yard scheme, adding he was “hopeful” that this would not be exceeded if the handover to tenants went as planned by the end of June.