Two significant public realm improvement programmes are being undertaken in Keynsham Town centre:

  • Keynsham High Street Public Realm Improvements Phase 1
  • Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) Programme

The Phase 1 scheme focuses on the one-way system between Charlton Way and Bath Hill. In contrast, the HS HAZ programme has a wider remit and considers opportunities for improvement throughout the length of the High Street.

Both projects respond to needs, challenges and opportunities of the High Street. These have been established through stakeholder engagement and public consultation. Together, in collaboration with project partners, the projects will deliver ongoing improvements which will help to revitalise the High Street and create a distinct, thriving town centre for both residents and visitors to enjoy.

Keynsham High Street public realm improvements (phase 1)

The first phase of  improvements to the public space between Bath Hill and Charlton Road will rejuvenate the town centre and attract locals and visitors back to the High Street. The enhancements will include footpath widening and resurfacing, better signage, cycling and bus stop facilities, and new street furniture, streetlights, landscaping and trees. The rearrangement of the temporary one-way system on the High Street aims to increase opportunities for walking, cycling and other sustainable modes of transport.

We started work on the first phase of public realm improvements to the High Street on 1 June 2021 starting with lifting of the existing paving and kerbs in front of the Methodist Church and laying of new high-quality materials. The contra-flow cycle lane has also been closed to create a temporary pedestrian walkway, to preserve safety and facilitate the works as the Contractor continues in sections along the west side of the high street toward Temple Street.

The public realm improvements will be constructed in short sections starting on the west side of the High Street outside the Methodist Church, continuing towards Bath Hill, then on the east side travelling from Charlton Road to Bath Hill.  The work is expected to take eight months.

The highway will only be restricted during the existing road closure which is in place for social distancing and will remain open unless a restriction is required by the construction programme. At the times the High Street will need to be closed to all traffic there will be a diversion around Ashton Way. These periods of closure will be announced and signed in advance so that people can plan their journeys.

Temporary disabled bays will be available outside the HSBC Bank. The contraflow cycle lane will be closed when works to upgrade it are carried out or when necessary for safety reasons. The council and its contractor will be working closely with traders to minimise disruption and ensure access during trading hours. The temporary traffic restriction order and construction works will not prevent customers or traders from accessing their premises.

To minimise the impact of the construction, the site welfare and storage will be situated in the closed Station Road overflow carpark.

We will keep this page updated with construction updates so please visit regularly.

The council was awarded £1.5 million towards the cost of implementing the first phase. The scheme is funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth and Getting Building Funds, administered by the West of England Combined Authority. It is also funded by the Combined Authority through its Love our High Streets programme.

Last year the council invited views from the public and stakeholders on the detailed designs and specification of the scheme, both online and at a public exhibition. More than 100 responses were received and respondents were asked to rank the design elements they considered would be the most successful. The top three most popular elements were the reconfigured bus stop, paving materials and the pedestrian crossings. In response to the consultation feedback, further changes were also made to the final design including:

  • Improvements to widen the High St junctions at Charlton Road and Bath Hill as well as the access to the courtyard behind No. 69.  
  • New paving to be installed in front of the Methodist Church to match the rest of the High Street
  • Relocation of several planters to improve visibility and safety for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Addition of dropped kerbs to disabled parking bays to improve accessibility
  • Signage improvements to cycle contra-flow lane to help improve pedestrian and cyclist interaction at crossing and intersections
  • A new shared use footway at the top of Bath Hill to assist cyclists to join the dedicated cycle lane
  • An improved cycle stand design making it easier to secure bikes and which complements existing stands/furniture in the area

Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ)

Keynsham is one of 60 high streets across the country that were successful in receiving funding from Historic England. The High Street was awarded £1.1million as part of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) Programme. This programme has been match funded by Keynsham Town Council (£40,000) and Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) who have contributed £100,000 from the Community Levy Infrastructure fund.

HS HAZ is a partnership programme between B&NES, Keynsham Town Council and Historic England. It will enable us to harness and develop the value of Keynsham's historic environment to generate economic growth and improve quality of life in the town centre. This separate programme will follow on from the Keynsham Phase 1 programme.

The heritage led programme will focus on either the Temple Street or Upper High Street areas, dependent on the masterplan. The aim will be to enhance the conservation area, to create a more attractive, engaging and vibrant High Street. This will be achieved through four key programme strands; public realm improvements, shop front improvements, community engagement and cultural consortium and programme. We look forward to working closely with Keynsham communities as these strands arise.

Alongside the main HS HAZ Programme there will be two connected Cultural Programmes – details about these can be found under the latest update section.

Latest updates June 2021:

Keynsham Masterplan: The first phase of the Keynsham HS HAZ Public Realm Improvement strand is to create a Masterplan.

  • This Masterplan is a framework that will help guide development, public realm projects and change within Keynsham HS HAZ and interconnecting areas. 
  • The Masterplan Process: Landscape architects McGregor Coxall have been appointed and have already been working alongside the HS HAZ Masterplan Working Group. The Working Group is made up of representatives from each partner organisation (Keynsham Town Council, B&NES and Historic England). A draft of the Masterplan has now been presented to and signed off by the HS HAZ Programme Board.
  • The next step is for us to hold key stakeholder engagement masterplan sessions which will happen in June 2021. These key stakeholder groups have been identified by the HS HAZ Programme Board. Once feedback is captured and collated, we will then be publishing a Launch Document that shares more information about the masterplan and wider programme later this summer indicating next steps for the Programme and ways you can get involved.

Please note that the Masterplan is not a set of concept and detailed design proposals. This will be the next stage of the HS HAZ programme.

HS HAZ Cultural Programme Updates:

Local Cultural Programme

New community-led cultural activities and events are set to be enjoyed in Keynsham from this summer following an award of £80,000 funding announced 19 May 2021. This grant has been awarded by Historic England as part of Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zones and will be used for new community programmes centred around the high streets that are focused on the arts, history and culture.

Keynsham is among 60 high streets in England to receive a share of £6 million for these projects from the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme.

Taking place over the next three years, these Local Cultural Programmes will be led by Keynsham’s Cultural Consortium formed of local stakeholder groups and representatives, with support from Bath & North East Somerset Council and Historic England.

This grant will fund activities including mini festivals, markets, cultural community days and the installation of an illustrative timeline of Keynsham’s history. In the first year, the project will uncover how Keynsham was in the past. The second year will celebrate Keynsham as it is now and the final year will look to the future.

National Cultural Programme

We’re delighted to be part of Historic England’s Twin Towns programme. Over summer 2021, Historic England will unofficially ‘twin’ towns through a programme of creative commissions that see artists working with local communities to uncover what they have in common Read more: http://bit.ly/HiStreets

Artists Ellie Shipman and Katy Hawkins have started their creative community project in Keynsham and Bedford called Public Announcements. The project aims to bring to light the hidden activity and histories of both High Streets through designing High Street Observation Cards and an illustrated map of the High Streets with local groups as well as banners that will be displayed in the summer. 

To get involved or find out more about the project and follow updates see our project blog: eleanorshipman.com/blog/public-announcements

Coronavirus support for High Street businesses

There are a range of business grants and loans available to support businesses through national and local restrictions, whether your business is closed or remains open.

From April 1 the Business Restart Grant is available to help businesses as national restrictions are eased and they reopen for business. Follow the main council grants and government grant schemes link here: beta.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information-and-advice/business-grants-and-loans

The retail business rates discount (covering retail, hospitality and leisure businesses) has been extended as follows: -

  • 1 April 2021 – 30 June 2021: 100% discount, no financial cap
  • 1 July 2021 – 31 March 2022: 66% discount, £105,000 cap per business or £2m cap per business where occupation is legally required

We would also encourage businesses to contact Invest in Bath for details of further financial, business and skills support if they have particular requirements. A few examples – there is currently grant support for businesses wishing to make energy efficiency improvements, to improve their online presence and to adapt to covid (eligibility criteria apply in all cases). Please email info@investinbath.co.uk


Other links:

View the Keynsham Town Plan

View the Keynsham Transport Strategy

View the Placemaking Plan

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