Councillors have thrown their support behind plans to redevelop a hidden part of Bideford town centre.

The proposed ‘Isaac’s Yard’ scheme is the focus of Torridge District Council’s submission for a share of the Government’s £1billion Future High Streets Fund.

It would see a piece of land between Cooper Street, Mill Street, Bridgeland Street and Queen Street redeveloped.

The proposals, which include a covered events space and a food and drink hub, 16 homes, a community hub and a heritage courtyard garden, were shared at a virtual full council meeting on Monday (July 27), and they were met with unanimous support from councillors.

Local ward member, Councillor Dermot McGeough, said: “In my opinion this is the best chance Bideford has had in the last 50 years to regenerate the town and alongside Brunswick Wharf I think things are really starting to look up now for Bideford.

The space behind Heard's garage forms part of the proposed Isaac's Yard development.The space behind Heard's garage forms part of the proposed Isaac's Yard development.

“This is a great projet to show the public we are forward thinking and dynamic.”

Cllr Peter Christie added that while schemes for development on the land had come forward before, none were as strong as this one.

He added: “This is much stronger, with a real mix of land uses and it addresses all the issues facing Bideford.”

Fellow ward member, Cllr Doug Bushby added: “This is a fantastic scheme for the town and it’s been a privilege to be part of the governance board right from the inception of this project.

“I’ve lived in Bideford all my life, I’ve seen lots and lots of demolition in the town from The Strand cinema to various other high profile parts of the town and its delight to actually be part of something which is going to see something as large as this potentially rise in the centre of the town.”

Council leader, Cllr Ken James, said: “I look forward to it coming to fruition. This is definitely Torridge going forward, so good luck to everybody involved in it.”

The development has been costed at £9.6million, with the council applying for £4.29million from the Government fund.

Successful applicants are set to be announced in the autumn.