Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: ReCreation Community Hub, Rhode Lane, Bridgwater, TA6 6HZ

Contact: LCN Team Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from the Rev. Dean Whitaker (Holy Trinity Church) and Stephen Leahy (Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce).


Declarations of Interest

To receive and note any declarations of interests in respect of any matters included on the agenda for consideration at this meeting.


(The other registrable interests of Councillors of Somerset Council, arising from membership of City, Town or Parish Councils and other Local Authorities will automatically be recorded in the minutes: City, Town & Parish Twin Hatters - Somerset Councillors 2023 )


No additional declarations of interest were made.


Notes from the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To approve the notes from the previous meeting held on 22 January 2024.


The notes of the previous meeting held on 22 January 2024 were confirmed as a correct record.


Public Question Time

The Chair to advise of any questions, statements or petitions received that are not covered by items on the agenda for the meeting on which members of the public have requested to speak.


There were no public questions.


Bridgwater Town Deal

To receive a presentation on the Bridgwater Town Deal.


Paul Moore, the Chairman of the Bridgwater Town Deal gave a presentation highlighting:

·         In 2019 the Government had been looking for 101 towns to submit bids of up to £25 million for improvements and as a result of a successful bid they had been awarded £23.2 million for 11 projects to improve Bridgwater and its town centre.

·         They had looked at the strategic priorities for local investment:

Ø  Maximising the community potential

Ø  Re-energising the town centre

Ø  Sustainable access and movement

·         The money has to be spent by 2026 or it is returned to the Government.

·         Some projects had to be ruled out due to the time constraints and/or ownership issues e.g. Bridgwater Hospital and the Classic Building.

·         The 11 projects fell under 3 main headings:

Ø  Unlocking Growth

Ø  Bridgwater Tidal Barrier - a contribution towards a cycle path and pedestrian access.

Ø  Dunball Junction - Improvements to the Junction to unlock housing and employment land for development.

Ø  Walking & Cycling – The provision of local cycling links connecting the EDF funded river trail to the docks and Northgate Yard for access to the Town Centre.

Ø  Places and Spaces

Ø  Celebration Mile – a long held aspiration of the former District Council to improve St Johns Street  & Eastover.

Ø  Restoration of the historic Docks - to create a new leisure and tourism destination.

Ø  Diversifying Town Centre Offer and Installing Civic Pride

Ø  Arts Centre – To create essential flexibility to support local artists and cultural events in the grade I listed building with an improved Theatre, 1st & 2nd floor and circulation spaces.

Ø  Town Hall Theatre – To provide a cultural facility with inclusive access, improved lighting, changing facilities, a lift and a new reception space.

Ø  Engine Room 2.0 – Providing increased capacity for the community media centre, engaging people with digital art and media enhancing skills and giving opportunities to disadvantaged parts of the community.

Ø  Bridgwater “Step Up” – a flexible business and enterprise hub including creative “pop-up” and “taster-event” space and support. The funding for this had been reduced and they were currently looking for a venue.

Ø  Bridgwater Carnival – As a big part of Bridgwater and its identity was the Carnival they were helping to secure the future of carnival events by part funding phase 1 of the carnival production space.

Ø  Town Wardens / Event Ambassadors - Public engagement had highlighted this up as a potential asset to the town centre as it provided a support presence to help reduce antisocial behaviour and build confidence for visitors.


The LCN then split into groups to consider the following questions:


  1. From the following list of projects that were not taken up by the Town Deal, which ones do you feel could be a priority for the residents of Bridgwater?
    • Bridgwater Hospital
    • Mecca Building
    • Bridgewater College - Centre of Sporting Excellence
    • Blake Museum
    • Cycle paths


  1. What ideas/thoughts do you have for this to be successful?


  1. Which partners should be working  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.


Updates from Active Travel and Youth Provision working groups


Gary Perrett,  Chair of the Active Travel Working Group, gave an update highlighting:

§  That there were some things that could be done without funding such as training and guided cyclins, as provided by the Bridgwater Area Cycling Campaign, as well feasibility studies.

§  They had four general topics that the working group was working on:

1.      Eastover Bikeability  Programme – trying to replicate and roll out the work done at Eastover School which looked to provide access to bikes and cycle training for all year 5 and year 6 pupils.

2.    The creation of an active travel hub – they were speaking to local planning officers, looking at the Taunton and Newport travel hubs.

3.    Undertaking a Bridgwater Lighting Survey to identify issues and problems by the end of March to present to the Town Council and which would hopefully achieve some quick wins.

4.     Active Travel – they were engaging with local businesses and local employers to try and understand what they were doing regarding active travel.


The following Youth Provision Working Group update was given:

§  They had been meeting since the beginning of the LCN.

§  They had created a ‘live’ list of youth provision that was now online on the Bridgwater Town Council’s website

§  They were looking to get providers to showcase themselves on the website with reels, photos and music.

§  They were looking into the setting up of an interactive App for young people and were speaking to Bridgwater and Taunton College to see if any of their IT students could help with this.

§  The Police’s Violence Reduction Partnership had launched two safe spaces, one in Taunton, and the other in Bridgwater, upstairs in Café #1, on Fridays between 4 – 6pm.


It was suggested that an action for the Working Group could be to talk to Dave Englefield at Sedgemoor FM about supporting youth provision possibly with the help of students.




There were no further actions.


Dates and high priority issues


It was confirmed that the next meeting would be the LCNs annual general meeting on 5 June 2024 – the venue was still to be confirmed.