A major new project is underway to “breathe new life into Burnham-On-Sea seafront and other parts of the town centre”.
Sedgemoor District Council and Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council have teamed up with other groups, including Burnham Chamber of Trade, to work on a new project called “Evolution” to make the town more attractive for visitors and residents.
It comes amid complaints from residents and holidaymakers at the lack of Burnham-On-Sea beach attractions this year and the poor state of the town’s seafront.
Speaking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun said this week: “We are working closely with Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council on a project to breathe new life into the seafront and other parts of the town to make it more attractive to visitors for more months of the year, which will bring benefits for residents too.”
“The Town Council has employed a consultant to prepare a business plan that will be used to access funding to support schemes such as renovating the Princess Theatre, enhancing the Esplanade and improving the quality of the welcome including offering more for people to do.”
“So far, the project team has expressed interest in applying to EDF Energy’s Community Impact Fund for Hinkley Point C and the Coastal Communities Fund. It is waiting to hear whether it can submit full applications.”
“There will be a chance for people to give their views on the plan at the Farmers’ Market on May 25th and the Eat:Burnham event on May 26th.”
She added: “We are hoping that the project will be well received and successful in attracting finance. In the past we have suggested various ideas such as mini-golf on part of the South Esplanade but this was resisted by local residents and so did not go ahead.”
“We advertise beach concessions but it is up to operators to apply for them. We support events run in the town where we can but the ideas for them and funding has to come from the town itself.”
In the past, Burnham-On-Sea beach has boasted donkeys, trampolines, bouncy castles, swing boats, food sellers, deckchair sellers, and even land trains.
But this year there will only be an ice cream van on the beach and a seafood stall on The Esplanade during peak holiday times.
One holidaymaker, Sam Aldridge, got in touch with Burnham-On-Sea.com with her concerns: “We love coming to Burnham to spend time on the beach with our grandchildren over the holidays but it’s such a shame that the attractions that used to be there to make it a complete ‘day out’ are no longer present.”
Sedgemoor District Council says the current beach concessions are let on a three-season basis and run from Good Friday or 1st April, whichever is the earliest, until 31st October each season. This season is the last of the three-season concession, so they will be all re-advertised via Burnham-On-Sea.com early in 2019 with an aim to start 1st April 2019.
The concessions for Burnham-On-Sea beach Donkey and Pony Rides is available; while the ice creams concession is let; the Burnham Beach inflatables concession is available but in negotiation; and the seafood concession is let.