Town Development Meeting Considers Bridgwater Town Centre and Future of Post Office

Mary Winning urges focus on transport issues at Town Development Forum

The Town Development Forum was set up 4 years ago as an initiative by the Town Council in order to widen community input into it’s decision making process and to act as a consultative body for key projects coming into the town. In the past they have considered the Northgate leisure complex, town centre improvements, Policing, the Waterways, Blake Gardens and the library, Tourism and transport initiatives. All the outcomes are fed into the town council committee system and taken on board. At the final meeting of the 2015-19 Town Council term of office, the focus was on the Town Centre and also on the future of the Post Office. The meeting was chaired by Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) and attended by delegates from local community groups and business forums  along with concerned residents, traders and activists. Speakers included regional managers from the Post Office and Sedgemoors Senior Economic Development Officer. in the interests of accuracy we reprint the minutes in their entirity.

Continue reading “Town Development Meeting Considers Bridgwater Town Centre and Future of Post Office”

Town Council votes to support Art Centre ‘Rescue Package’

art centre
Bridgwater Arts Centre a local and national institution

For several months the Bridgwater Arts Centre had been facing a perilous future as repair works to the Georgian roof of this the countries first arts centre and a long time home to innovative  community arts projects alongside exciting national and international acts were threatening to see the venue closed down. Bridgwater Town Council had been in negotiations with the Board of Directors and with owners Sedgemoor District Council throughout this period and at last night’s Town Council meeting voted through a package of measures to rescue the place.

Continue reading “Town Council votes to support Art Centre ‘Rescue Package’”

Pizzaz and Stardust Dreams as Mayor’s ‘Youth Awards’ shine on Bridgwater’s Future

youth awards
Youth awards at Town hall

It was all showtime and stagecalls, pomp and papparazzi and triumph and tears at Bridgwater’s mid 19th century town hall this week as the town’s young Mayor Diogo Rodrigues once more put his finger firmly on the pulse of what Bridgwater does best and launched his new ‘Youth Awards’. This year Diogo has done things differently. He’s looked at what we’ve done traditionally and tried something new. Usually Mayor’s have a ‘civic service’, always in a church, the great and good in their chains turn up and the virtues of Bridgwater extolled. This year Diogo  chose not to have a Mayor’s Chaplain, so instead of a beating moral compass guided over by a confessor he put on a show right there and then. As only Bridgwater does best.

Continue reading “Pizzaz and Stardust Dreams as Mayor’s ‘Youth Awards’ shine on Bridgwater’s Future”

Bridgwater Arts Centre Bounces Back

art centre
Bridgwater Arts Centre ‘open for business’

Bridgwater Arts Centre was facing a bleak midwinter with a leaking roof, a theatre closed to the public and the prospect of a long period of closure. Newspaper headlines didn’t help and cancellations led to  dwindling income, loss of members and eventually loss of the last paid staff. Was Bridgwater about to lose the first arts centre in the country?? No, of course not! Bridgwater people don’t think like that. As 2019 arrived members, volunteers and users old and new rallied round and with the help of Bridgwater Town Council pulled the arts centre back from the brink at the last moment.

As Spring arrives in Bridgwater the Art Centre is once again open to the public with an exhibition in the gallery and a full programme of bar and gallery events.  A ‘conditions survey’ has just reported with costs for repairs and Bridgwater Town Council will be considering how it can help with one of the towns most historic of assets. The Arts Centre board has been augmented by new blood and everyone is rallying round to kick life back into the place. Continue reading “Bridgwater Arts Centre Bounces Back”

Northgate Finally To Get Leisure Complex

The planned Northgate cinema complex . Artists impression -Corstophine & Wright

The long disputed Northgate site on the edge of Bridgwater Town Centre has finally been given the go-ahead for a state-of-the-art new cinema as its flagship attraction. After a bitter campaign by townspeople to prevent Sedgemoor District Council simply dumping a massive supermarket on the site, Bridgwater Town Council worked with their powerful overlords to nurture plans for  a new leisure-led Northgate regeneration scheme in the centre of Bridgwater.   The announcement now confirms the ‘anchor facility’ for the leisure-based scheme that is central to the future regeneration of Bridgwater town centre.

Continue reading “Northgate Finally To Get Leisure Complex”