Burnham Evolution group with MP James Heappey

The Burnham-On-Sea Evolution Project Team have met local MP James Heappey this week to brief him on latest developments and thank him for lending his support to the funding bids submitted by the Town Council.

Burnham was awarded a £350,000 grant from the Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation Fund earlier this month, as we first reported here.

Now that the funding is secured, the refurbishment of the Princess Theatre and Arts Centre will be going ahead. The building will be refreshed with new doors, windows, carpets and internal decoration as well as new modern seating and replacement of the toilets.

The funding will also cover enhancements to the Esplanade such as better shelters, signs, bins which are seagull-proof and a children’s play area.

The group had received disappointing news relating to their £1.1m application to the Coastal Communities Fund and £50,000 application to the Coastal Revival Fund – both of these bids were unsuccessful.

Funding has been received however from Sedgemoor District Council to pay for a trim trail to be installed along part of The Esplanade.

The Burnham Evolution Project Team explained to James Heappey the importance of funding and implementing the rest of the project and asked for his support and influence as a member of the governing party with future applications.

The additional elements of the project which would need funding include the purchase of a building in the centre of town to provide units for business start-ups as well as a wet weather entertainment space for families and the employment of a project manager to oversee the works.

Mr Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This is wonderful news for Burnham – and deserved as Burnham is playing an important part in the Hinkley project as some of the workforce are living here while its under construction and so Burnham is rightly getting its slice of the pie.”

“The plans may be really transformative for Burnham when the project delivers.”

He explained that he had discussed with EDF last summer the need for funding in the Burnham area.

The Evolution Project Team will be meeting during early January with the new Town Clerk, Sam Winter to discuss the best way ahead and explore further funding opportunities.