Bristol

River Avon regeneration study backed with £100,000

River Avon at Keynsham
Image caption The River Regeneration Trust wants to see Keynsham play a "significant role" in the west of England

A study to look at ways to redevelop an 18 mile (30km) stretch of the River Avon between Bristol and Bath has been commissioned by the council.

It has awarded £100,000 to the project, which aims to create jobs, affordable housing and "maintain the river's heritage", in the Keynsham area.

Bath and North East Somerset council said its aim was for the town to have a "significant role" in west England.

The River Regeneration Trust study will take place over a six-week period.

Councillor Dave Laming, who is part of the trust's team, said: "Hundreds and hundreds of jobs can be created - real jobs.

"The other important issue is that we need affordable housing and communities and that is what this river will do for us."

'Novel ideas'

He said they had started to work with Wessex Water, the Canal and River Trust and most of the landowners.

"We've done research and have identified the major players. We have identified an area of Keynsham known as the Broadmead Peninsula," continued Mr Laming.

"We have some difficult situations to overcome - we have a huge sewage works, 12 and a half acres of landfill site, Avon valley Farm and a rundown industrial estate.

"We are looking at the whole of that area and are coming up with novel ideas to regenerate it."

Lynn Young, from the Keynsham Chamber of Commerce, said: "We are bang in the middle of two big cities and we need something special.

"The face of Keynsham is dramatically changing anyway - this is just an added pleasure as far as I am concerned."

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