Use this page to get an overview of ongoing and planned regeneration projects throughout Bath and North East Somerset.
In recent years, changing lifestyles, working patterns and the growth of online commerce have all had a substantial impact on our city, town centres and local high street businesses. Alongside traditional retail and employment uses of the high streets, there is strong support for increasing community uses, food and beverage, leisure, culture and entertainment.
As a council, we are working on a series of projects aimed at supporting and regenerating our city centre, town centres and local high streets. These co-ordinated schemes aim to make sure our high streets continue to be vibrant places which meet the needs of the community and visitors, and provide spaces for businesses and community organisations to thrive.
In the short term, our main focus is to make sure our city centre, town centres and high streets continue to thrive. We also have longer-term plans to help renew our centres to prepare for the future, with support for a wide range of uses and activities. Select a topic below to learn more about individual projects, and follow links for details on the plans and progress of each scheme.
Vacant Units Action Project (VUAP)
This three-year project (2021 to 24) is supported by the WECA Recovery Fund, UKSP Fund and Welcome Back Fund, and aims to vacant shops and buildings on High Streets to good use. The project is focused on Bath City Centre, with satellite schemes in Keynsham and Midsomer Norton.
Read more about established VUAP projects
- Make Space Keynsham, an arts and community space at 2 Riverside, Keynsham
- A new Community Space at Unit 14, South Road, Midsomer Norton
- Creative Twerton community arts and exhibition spaces, 106 to 107 Twerton High Street
- Short-term pop-up uses of temporary empty spaces for retail, charities and including vacant shop units in central Bath
- Milsom Quarter Meanwhile Uses. An exciting new project as part of the recent acquisition of the Old Post Office Building in Bath City Centre, which will in time be redeveloped into the Fashion Museum’s new location. In the meantime, The VUAP will support the existing retail units back to market as 'Meanwhile Uses' under temporary leases, in line with the Masterplan’s strategic vision for the Milsom Quarter.
Or watch the Vacant Units Action Project video on YouTube
Milsom Quarter Masterplan
We are in the process of delivering the masterplan for the Milsom Quarter, a group of areas and streets around Bath's traditional retail centre, Milsom Street. The plan covers an ambitious range of potential projects, aiming to shift the focus and identity of the area, to include more than just retail. Plans include new residential accommodation, with associated amenities, an enhanced fashion museum, space for creative industries, and encouraging retail, arts and festival activity to redefine the area as a destination for fashion.
Bath Central Riverside
Bath Central Riverside is a new regeneration scheme, covering the area between Pulteney Bridge (north) and Bath Spa Train Station (south). The regeneration scheme will act as a catalyst to transform and re-imagine the area, unlocking its potential and creating benefits for both residents and visitors, whilst maintaining the importance of the city as World Heritage Site and responding to the climate change and ecological emergencies.
The projects include:
- Bath Central Riverside Masterplan
- Guildhall Option Study
- Grand Parade Colonnades
- Manvers Street public realm
- Pilot and demonstration events
Broad Street Place
The Broad Street Place scheme seeks to realise the huge potential of the existing community garden within Bath City Centre. We are aiming to deliver an improved public space through a phased approach. This should have the following impacts for residents, businesses and visitors :
- Improving recognition and quality of the space through playful and user-friendly design
- Increasing the number of visitors, and the amount of time they spend in the space
- Invigorating Broad Street Place by fostering community links which support long-term local stakeholder and community interaction with the space
- Improving safety by removing trip hazards and addressing existing accessibility issues
- Enhancing opportunities for biodiversity to provide a distinctive wild place within the city
For more information regarding the Broad Street Community Garden scheme, please see the Neighbourhood Portion of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Public space improvements
A series of projects are underway. In recent years, we have made major public space improvements in Saw Close, High Street, Stall Street, Union Street, and York Street. In addition, current improvement projects are being implemented in Milsom Quarter and Kingsmead Square.
Bath High Street Renewal projects
We have secured funding from WECA's Love our High Street Fund. Projects being implemented include the following:
- For Milsom Quarter and Kingsmead Square: public space improvements, street furniture and lighting, animation (temporary uses for vacant units), events and street dressing
- City-wide: an Outdoor Trading Project to improve the look and feel of outdoor market spaces and stalls
Policy framework for schemes in Bath
We have in place extensive strategies to ensure that any projects within Bath City Centre are appropriate to the city's unique historic environment and World Heritage Site status:
High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ)
A High Street Heritage Action Zone has been established, with £1.1m grant funding from Historic England, together with funding from Keynsham Town Council and B&NES Council. This four-year scheme (running from 2020 to 24) will deliver the following:
- Improvements to Temple Street, including hard landscaping, greening and street furniture
- Renovated and enhanced historic shopfronts
- Arts, community engagement and a cultural programme
A High Street High Street Regeneration Programme has been established, with £2.8m of grant funding. This includes the designation of Midsomer Norton as a High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), with £900k grant funding from Historic England.
We have used the HAZ designation as a catalyst for further successful grant bids:
- Over £1m was awarded through WECA’s Love Our High Streets Fund
- £350k was awarded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund
- There have also been significant contributions from B&NES Council, through the Community Infrastructure Levy, and from Midsomer Norton Town Council
This project will deliver the following:
- A new town square for civic events
- Town Hall transformation, and the reinstatement of the Victorian Market Hall
- Renovation and enhancement of historic shopfronts
- Improvements to public space and street furniture
- Arts events, community engagement and a cultural programme
Looking beyond the current grant-funded projects, there is funding to undertake a masterplan exercise for the ‘Old Brewery Quarter’ in Midsomer Norton. The masterplan area covers the historic Midsomer Norton Brewery buildings in the centre of the High Street and extends around South Road, including the large municipal car park and the whole of the lower High Street fronting the River Somer. The masterplan exercise and public consultation events will focus on the vast potential for this area.
Find out more about these projects on the partnership website, Your Midsomer Norton.
We have successfully bid for funding from the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA's) Housing and Regeneration Enabling Fund, to create regeneration plans and masterplans for four town centres in Bath and North East Somerset.
The first plan will be for Radstock, and we are developing this in partnership with Radstock Town Council.
Housing and employment growth anticipated for the town and surrounding area means that there will be more reliance on the town centre for facilities, services, employment and entertainment. This links with the 15-minute neighbourhoods approach, where local service centres are key nodes and accessible centres for large residential populations. However, in recent years Radstock Town Centre has lacked vibrancy and it is now a challenging trading environment with lower than desired footfall.
Radstock town centre is a designated town centre in the B&NES Local Plan and is a focal area for the community in terms of facilities, services, employment and entertainment. The Regeneration Action Plan has been guided by the existing Local Plan and will feed into the development of the new Local Plan.
The action plan focuses on improvements to the vitality and viability of the Town Centre and has identified opportunities for the following activities to revitalise the area:
- Better place branding
- High street renewal activities such as community and cultural events and markets
- Improving the skills of the local workforce
- Improving town centre public space, heritage assets, facilities and infrastructure.
- Providing the framework to link to green infrastructure and existing regeneration programmes
Working with key stakeholders, including Radstock Town Council, businesses and the community, a draft Regeneration Action Plan has been developed which identifies priority projects. The plan will also be used to support future funding bids and inform investment plans and future strategies for the town.
Key projects that have been identified include the following:
- Trinity Church community hub
- Town Centre cultural programme
- Outdoor events
- Brownfield (ex-industrial or commercial) site re-use
- Tree planting in the Town Centre
- Green and blue space improvements (parks, gardens, open spaces and rivers, ponds, lakes and fountains)
- Energy efficiency improvements
- Renewable energy opportunities (such as wind and solar power)
- Parking, signage and streetscape Improvements
- Management of vacant properties
- Improve the Town Centre offer
Improvements are planned for four local High Streets in Bath: Twerton High Street, Mount Road local centre, Moorland Road and Weston High Street. Project funding has been secured and the project will be delivered between 2022 and 2025.
The following additions are proposed across the four high streets:
- Street furniture
- Improved cycle storage
- Art installations
- Seasonal dressing
- Pop-up shops/meanwhile uses
- Sensory garden
- In-ground planting including trees
- Hanging baskets with seasonal iterations of planting
- Shopfront improvement grants
- Deep clean/maintenance
- Marketing and branding exercises to support an improved ‘place identity’
- Improved wayfinding
Concept designs were drawn up in early 2022, following local engagement in Autumn/Winter 2021. The concept designs were submitted as part of a successful funding bid to the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).
We (the council) were awarded £295,000 of West of England Combined Authority (WECA) ‘Love Our High Street’ funding. This funding will be combined with £158,000 funding from Community Infrastructure Levy and other sources, creating a Bath Local Centres scheme budget of £453,000. An additional allocation of £35,000 linked funding is provided as part of the Council’s Vacant Unit Action Project.