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Work begins on Taunton's £105m revamp

image copyrightBDP/ Somerset West And Taunton Counci
image captionIn 2018 a £105m plan to develop the old cattle market site, which had been empty for more than a decade, was approved

Work has begun preparing for a £105m town centre redevelopment.

Taunton's Firepool area was bought by the local authority in 2008 and in 2018 the plan to develop the old cattle market site, which had been empty for more than a decade, was approved.

Last year, a masterplan for the site, which includes new homes, a hotel and an innovation centre, was published.

Somerset West and Taunton Council said it was "making Firepool a top priority".

The site was bought by the-then Taunton Deane Borough Council 12 years ago.

Since then, various efforts to redevelop the site have stalled.

But this week, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, work has finally begun to break up the concrete ahead of installing utilities and vital infrastructure.

image copyrightDaniel Mumby
image captionThe site was bought by the then-Taunton Deane Borough Council, 12 years ago

Councillor Federica Smith-Roberts said it was vital "we recover from the effects of the coronavirus".

"We are making Firepool a top priority in line with our corporate strategy objectives, to facilitate development and boost the economy," she said.

"It is vital that we press ahead with our plans to deliver a quality scheme that not only attracts growth and investment, but creates an enjoyable space that reflects our garden town status."

Somerset County Council is also hoping to build a £5.5m digital innovation centre, boasting an amphitheatre, exhibition space, work spaces and meeting rooms, on the site.

Councillor Marcus Kravis said the "final funding decisions" were expected at the end of October.

"If fully approved, it will be built out by January 2022 on Firepool," he said.

Related Topics

  • Somerset County Council
  • Taunton
  • Somerset West and Taunton Council

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