Council provides update on work to transform ‘under utilised’ Strand area of Barnstaple

Barnstaple’s Strand’s regeneration could soon start taking place, as plans to commercialise the riverfront near the planning stage.

North Devon Council has said it is working with potential tenants for the Queen Anne’s Buildings, and is beginning the planning process to turn the former Barnstaple Heritage Centre into a restaurant or café.

The building was put on the market back in February and is a key part of the council’s ambition to regenerate the ‘under utilised’ area of the town.

The regeneration also includes a plan to lease the area between Bridge Chambers and Tea by the Taw and the building of a new footbridge linking the Strand with Anchorwood Bank.

NDC’s economic development manager Ellen Vernon said work for the footbridge was ‘still being explored in great detail’, and negotiations were ongoing with a third party about the ‘vibrant riverfront location’ to be leased.

She said: “It’s the council’s ambition to make the most of The Strand, a key area in the town.

“At the moment the area is under utilised so we are working hard to create a vibrant and busy leisure space which makes the most of the historic architecture and waterfront location.

“We are also working with potential tenants for the Queen Anne’s Buildings and looking into starting the planning process, as work would be required to convert the premises into a restaurant or café.

“We are also in negotiations with a third party, looking at possible options for the area around the former fountain on The Strand, a site which has great potential as a vibrant riverfront location.

“Options for the Taw Footbridge are still being explored in great detail. This is a massive project for the town so we need to make sure we find out which options are deliverable to take this forward further.”