The Watchet Esplanade Project, along with other phases of Harbour development, will provide an enhanced public realm area that will help to draw visitors, residents and businesses into the town. It will encourage investment in the enhancement and conservation of redundant buildings surrounding the Harbour and will create an area that will retain its status as the focal point of Watchet.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Project update June 11th 2008
Historic Port Celebrates Esplanade Enhancement
Watchet Town Council and West Somerset Council recently celebrated the official opening of anew-look Watchet Esplanade with a programme of events in April.
West Somerset Council secured £138,380 of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and over £51,000 from Somerset Rural Renaissance Partnership to enhance Watchet Esplanade, one of West Somerset’s best-loved historic ports.
Last year West Somerset Council signed a development agreement with award-winning property developer Urban Splash which paves the way for developing the adjoining East Wharf site. The agreement details the way the company and the council will work together at the location to provide a mixture of residential and commercial property and represents an investment of £12 million by Urban Splash.
The esplanade enhancement project involved refurbishment of the current shelters to include an information point, the provision of new paving in some areas, as well as railings, lamps, curved benches, planters and new tree plantings to boost the overall appearance of the esplanade.
New infrastructure such as market stalls was also provided to enable the town to host local farmers and craft markets, and a new performing area so that live music can once again be enjoyed beside the marina.
Chairman of West Somerset Council and Watchet Town Councillor, Cllr Jenny Hill, said, “We are delighted with the project. It’s now a really good area for tourists and the local community to enjoy. We are looking forward to the esplanade hosting a range of other events for the benefit of everyone.”
West Somerset Council’s Acting Head of Paid Service, Adrian Dyer, said, “It’s great to see this project come to fruition and to see the esplanade being enjoyed by local people. Mr Dyer added, “The esplanade enhancement project, coupled with Urban Splash’s £12 million investment in East Wharf, looks set to totally transform the area into a vibrant centre where residents and tourists can enjoy a variety of community activities. It’s good news for the town and the local economy.”
“As well as providing new seating and renovating the shelters and paving, there is now provision for the town to host markets which will attract more visitors to this lovely, historic seaside town.”