Council calls for public opinion on future of Barnstaple town centre

Posted on: 10 September 2019

The public are being asked to share their ideas on how they’d like to see Barnstaple’s high street shaped in the future, following an announcement that the town is in the running to benefit from major investment to revitalise its high street.

North Devon Council received confirmation its bid for investment for Barnstaple from the government’s Future High Streets Funds has been shortlisted and will now go onto the next stage. The council had worked alongside Barnstaple Town Centre Management (BTCM) to bid in the first phase of assessment.

Development money awarded to the council by central government will be used to prepare a detailed business case for the regeneration of Barnstaple’s high street. It is hoped that this will secure a share of the Government’s £1 billion fund, which aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives economic growth and improves living standards.

To help inform their proposals, the council would now like to hear from residents about how they’d like to see the town function in the future.

Barnstaple Town Centre Manager, Hannah Harrington says: “We are thrilled to have been selected as an awardee of the Future High Streets Fund and are excited to move into the second phase of the process. This could unlock some great opportunities for the town and its residents and transform Barnstaple’s high street for the future. We have a strong vision for how we’d like to see the town centre transform – we’d like to increase the sense of community, find new commercial, leisure and cultural uses for some of our historical buildings and improve the travel connections around the town centre, amongst other areas for improvement – but we want to hear from the public about what matters to them. I would urge local residents to contact us with any ideas they may have.”

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Prowse says: “This is an excellent outcome for Barnstaple and North Devon overall; the regeneration of our largest town will also have a knock-on effect on the whole of the district. The Future High Streets Fund isn’t about making the town look prettier, it’s for bold new visions, projects that will transform high streets and make them fit for the future. We’d love to hear from North Devon’s residents how they think we could improve Barnstaple going forward.”

The council and BTCM will be holding events later this year to ask local businesses and stakeholders what they think needs to be improved, followed by community events where everyone will get a chance to comment on the proposals and give their opinions. You can also have your say by emailing  highstreet@northdevon.gov.uk.

4 comments on “Council calls for public opinion on future of Barnstaple town centre

  1. J says:

    I think focus should be taken away from retail being the main draw to the high street. I think there should be a shift towards social areas such as bars/cafes/restaurants, but also open seating areas/parks which is really great to have for gathering areas where major sport event can be displayed. I think the success of more modern establishments in Barnstaple indicates that is what people are looking for when they visit a high street, e.g. Block on Butchers Row, Tarka Lounge in Green Lanes, BTP near the Cattle Market and the recently opened Latitude. Online/outlet shopping is likely to increase, further reducing the significance of retail as a draw to a high street. If you were to look at busier locations such as Princess Hay in Exeter/Taunton High Street, a large draw is the selection of food outlets available which is balanced well with a varied selection of retailers. I also think the pannier market has the potential to draw in larger numbers by widening it’s appeal, perhaps by encouraging local food and drink suppliers to cater.

    • Holly says:

      Thank you for providing suggestions. Can you please email them through to the address in the article above please (highstreet@northdevon.gov.uk) so that they can be added to the consultation. Thank you

  2. Paul Fry says:

    If you go ahead with the Severn brethren project creating more congestion, poor parking arrangements and a nightmare to get to the new leisure centre let alone the town centre – people will not come to the town whatever the attractions are. Sort out the traffic and parking in and around the town first!

    • Holly says:

      Thank you for providing suggestions. Can you please email them through to the address in the article above please (highstreet@northdevon.gov.uk) so that they can be added to the consultation. Thank you

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