Burnham-On-Sea’s seafront and theatre are to get £350,000 of improvements after a major funding bid from Hinkley Point’s Community Impact Mitigation Fund was approved on Wednesday (November 21st).
The Burnham Evolution project – which aims to “breathe new life” into the town – secured the funding injection when members of West Somerset Council unanimously approved the application on Thursday.
The money will allow a full refurbishment of Burnham’s Princess Theatre to go ahead, and for a number of seafront improvements, listed below, to be completed.
This week’s news comes as a welcome boost just days after Burnham lost out on £1,000,000 of funding from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund earlier this month.
The Burnham Evolution project could also receive further funding with a separate bid for £50,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund. reports Burnham-On-Sea.com.
Projects in Burnham-On-Sea Town Centre:
- Princess Theatre refurbishment
- Destination marketing
Projects on Burnham’s Esplanade are:
- Creating a new Play Area on the South Esplanade
- A new Trim Trail on the South Esplanade
- Replace existing signposts
- Seafront Sea Walk (1 mile S-N, mid-point and N-S start point signs)
- Quarter mile distance markers
- Refurbish or replace benches
- Refurbish or replace bins
- Replace lighting on lamp posts with column lighting on existing lamp posts and install decorative lighting in the long-term
- Floor games and seawall wildfowl art
- Demolish and replace 3 x shelters in similar style and aspect (raised) to those along The Esplanade
- Hinkley Point C Information Panel
- Maintenance budget
The project is being led by Burnham and Highbridge Town Council with the support of Sedgemoor District Council and local groups, including Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade.
Town Clerk Tatiana Cant, pictured below, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The Town Council is thrilled to learn that the award has been granted to the Burnham Evolution Project. This will mean that the plans can go ahead to refurbish the Princess Theatre which is such a central hub for community performances and events as well as introducing real improvements to the Esplanade to make the area more attractive for residents and visitors.”
“A hard-working project team including representatives from Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, cross-party town councillors, the Chamber of Trade and Litter Free Somerset put together the bid and organised consultation events.”
“The ball is rolling now. With this funding in place, the Town Council can start work straight away on delivering these projects quickly and also make headway with securing more grants for other major improvements to help boost the local economy, create a thriving town and support our residents.”
Newly appointed Town Clerk, Sam Winter, who has significant experience in successful community projects will be driving the project forwards. She said: “This is fantastic news that offers a real boost to The Princess and to Burnham. I am very excited to be joining a team striving to ensure community investment and improvement.”
MP James Heappey, who has previously given his support to the project, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I am very satisfied that Burnham has received this funding.”
“I have been lobbying for Burnham at every opportunity so I’m very pleased to hear this news. This part of Somerset has received woefully little funding from EDF until now.”
“I hope that people on the seafront will be able to gaze at the building site across the water and reflect on the fact that Burnham is getting some mitigation.”
And Alex Turco, who was a part of the group who compiled the plans, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This is a good first step towards the Burnham Evolution objective of making the town a better place to live, work and visit. The hard work starts now in ensuring the projects on The Esplanade and at The Princess are delivered in 2019.”
“The team will also renew its efforts to unlock further funding so that other schemes can be delivered. The support of the EDF Community Impact Mitigation fund for Burnham is very welcome.”
The £1.6m Burnham Evolution Project’ Business Case was approved in June 2018 by town councillors, which allowed the grant funding applications to proceed.