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 enhancements to rejuvenate the town centre included footpath widening and resurfacing, better signage, cycling and bus stop facilities, as well as new street furniture, streetlights, landscaping and trees. The first phase of improvements to the public space between Bath Hill and Charlton Road commenced in June 2021 were completed and the road re-opened on March 18 2022.
The contractor continues to work through the final activities included in the construction programme. In the meantime, as with all new public realm schemes, the Council continues to monitor activity and encourages the public to use one of the three pedestrian crossings to cross the road safely. In addition to this we have installed temporary signage throughout the street to help draw people's attention to the new layout.
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.
In 2020 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 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.
For more details visit the project website at www.hikeynsham.co.uk
Coronavirus support for High Street businesses
We would encourage businesses to contact Invest in Bath for details of 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