This monthâ€™s Full Council meeting in Torridge saw councillors give their full support to a bid for funding from the Governments Â£4.8 billion â€œLevelling up Fundâ€ announced in the budget in March. Â
The fund is designed to support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, as well as cultural and heritage assets.
Torridgeâ€™s innovative bid will enable the transformation of the heart of Bideford as part of a Â£10.9m investment and regeneration scheme that will benefit local communities and businesses right across the Torridge district.
The preparation of the bid has already seen communities, businesses and trade organisations work together in what is seen as a once in a generation chance to unlock the potential of Bidefordâ€™s town centre as a unique experience for working, living and entertainment.
The redevelopment will result in a mixed-use site offering commercial, residential, and community spaces as well as the flexibility for other activities such as markets, celebrations or artistic events.
The properties and land at the heart of the townâ€™s transformation will run from the Heard Brothers garage complex on Queen Street, through adjoining buildings and open spaces, right into the heart of the retail district in Mill Street.
This will create an interlinked complex of vibrant workspaces, a Community Hub working in partnership with One Northern Devon (a branch of the NHS), TTVS and 361 Energy, a cultural anchor, street food and micro-breweries and a range of open spacesâ€“ all under the working title of â€œIsaacâ€™s Yardâ€.
The plans also encompass a number of architecturally important buildings whose features will be preserved, enhanced and celebrated.
One of these heritage spaces is a walled garden that will be open for the public to enjoy, right in the hustle and bustle of the town centre- an â€œoasis of calmâ€ protected on all sides not only from the wind but also from the noises of the world around it.
The council have teamed up with igloo Regeneration, a multi-award winning BCorp who have just been successful in the industryâ€™s cutting edge RIBA Home of 2030 challenge.
Igloo will assist with the project through to the full planning stage, which is expected to conclude in Spring 2022.
Councillor Bob Hicks â€“ Lead Member for the Economy said: â€œThis is another important milestone in the realisation of this project, which has at its foundation a package of sustainable community, climate, and wellbeing benefits that will also be a huge boost to the economic recovery of the area. Â
â€œThe partnership with Igloo brings national expertise to the task but for the benefit of our locality and our officers and partner organisations deserve credit for the excellent work already undertaken to reach this stage.â€
To find out more please go to www.bidforbideford.co.uk and also get involved on the â€œIsaacâ€™s Yard- A Bid for Bidefordâ€ Facebook page.
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