North Devon Council says they will market the Heritage Centre building on The Strand in the new year

Barnstaple's former Heritage Centre is set to be marketed in the new year as part of The Strand's regeneration.

The Queen Anne's building could be remodelled as a bar or restaurant as North Devon Council looks to transform the riverside.

The council's ambition for The Strand is to create a vibrant and busy leisure space, making the most of the waterfront and historic architecture.

Earlier this month, NDC's executive begun the process of tendering out an area of land on the eastern end of The Strand to a third party.

Executive member for economic development, Councillor Pat Barker, said if successful, the area of land would be likely to feature a covered seating area.

She said: "We think The Strand has real potential as a great place to eat, drink, relax and enjoy events in the town and are keen to make better use of its riverside location, especially as developments over at Anchorwood Bank take shape.

The fencing erected around Barnstaple Heritage Centre.The fencing erected around Barnstaple Heritage Centre.

"By exploring ways of making better use of the fish market site next to Tea on the Taw, we hope to make The Strand a more vibrant and attractive place for people to enjoy their leisure time and ultimately spend longer in the town.

"We will be consulting on this site, and subject to the outcome asking for Expressions of Interest, and our hope is to attract a business that has some ideas to make it a more useable space. We're keen to explore ways of creating a covered seating area that will further develop a café and food culture alongside the river.

"The Queen Anne's building will also be marketed in the new year and we hope there will be interest in turning this into a restaurant, café or bar to add more choice to what's already on offer on The Strand."

Barnstaple Town Council currently lease the building from North Devon Council.

The town council elected to close the Heritage Centre in March, and will hand back the keys to NDC in January.

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