Improvements to the Town Centre public realm were highlighted as a key priority by local people. Through the work conducted to date by the Keynsham Neighbourhood Development Group and in consultations that informed the Phase 1 Keynsham programme, the Keynsham Town Plan, Keynsham Transport Strategy and Bath & North East Somerset Council's (B&NES) Placemaking Plan. Much work has been happening behind the scenes to work toward this aim.
Two significant public realm improvements are being undertaken in Keynsham Town centre:
Keynsham High Street public realm improvements (phase 1)
We hope to be starting work very soon on the first phase of public realm improvements to the High Street, after delays caused by the pandemic and supply of materials.
The first phase of public 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 council was awarded £1.5 million towards the cost of implementing the first phase, it 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 (WECA) and funded by WECA through its Love our High Streets programme.
Temporary traffic regulation order (TTRO) notices have been put up on-street advising of footpath and road closures. While these state that that the TTRO will be in effect from May 10th this isn’t an indication of a start date as it is still yet to be confirmed. The TTRO will not prevent businesses and their customers from accessing their premises. Work on the pavements will be subject to pedestrian controls (temporary walkways, etc) to facilitate works and to preserve safety. The TTRO made for social distancing will also remain in place until further notice.
Further updates will follow as soon as a start date is confirmed.
Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ)
Keynsham is one of the 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.
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 connect Cultural Programmes:
Cultural Consortium A Cultural Consortium has been set up by Keynsham Town Council, in partnership with B&NES Council. This is made up of many local organisations who are currently applying for further funding to be able to run a local Cultural Programme alongside the HS HAZ.
National Cultural Programme A four-year-long National Cultural Programme has been launched led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund. The National Cultural Programme will feature new digital and physical artworks inspired by the nation’s high streets. Within the National Cultural Programme Keynsham has been selected as part of the Twin Towns Project. Artists Ellie Shipman and Katy Hawkins will begin a creative community project in Keynsham and Bedford called Public Announcements. The project aims to bring to light the hidden activity and histories of Keynsham and Bedford through designing signage artworks with local residents.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
View the Keynsham Town Plan
View the Keynsham Transport Strategy
View the Placemaking Plan