Investing in Bridgnorth

Impact of £450,000 investment begins to be felt!

A number of exciting projects have been supported, and others are being finalised, to benefit from a share of £450,000 made available to Bridgnorth through Shropshire Council’s new Market Towns Revitalisation Programme.

The money is available until March 2013 to spend on capital schemes that will provide an immediate stimulus to the town.

Ideas developed with the community

Thanks go out to Bridgnorth people who provided lots of exciting ideas for using the money. Ideas came in through a range of mechanisms, including the local joint committee, the Community Toolkit, the initial findings of the Bridgnorth Town Plan, direct conversations with officers and councillors and through the local media. The ongoing work of the Bridgnorth Town Plan has provided an ideal platform for project delivery with key groups and organisations in the town.

Working with the town council, Shropshire councillors selected a number of these projects to be developed further:

  • St Leonard’s Church – £100,000 granted towards £200,000 of improvements to support wider community use and the key role of the building as an events venue. Work commenced in June 2012
  • St James’s Church Hall – work is about to commence on a £250,000 revitalisation of St James’s Church Hall on Lodge Lane, a much used community facility that has seen little investment in its 50 year history. £100,000 from the MTRP has been matched by Veolia Environmental Trust and, combined with various local grants and lots of fundraising, the project is about to commence, with work scheduled to be completed by Christmas 2012. Works include new windows, doors, external cladding, insulation, the creation of two new community rooms, new kitchen, new toilets, and a new heating system. These works will enable the hall to fulfil its potential of delivering a wider range of services to the community, including the outreach services of Shropshire Council, and services provided by other partners.
  • Riverside enhancement work – a range of projects are being finalised to breathe new life into one of Bridgnorth’s biggest assets – the riverside. Many concerns were raised about the condition of much of the riverside, particularly overgrown vegetation and a lack of maintenance. A programme of works is now being finalised with a range of community partners and representatives, including vegetation clearance and management, new street furniture, replacement railings, and some repaving/resurfacing works. A management plan is being developed with key partners to ensure that any investment is safeguarded for years to come. A feature lighting scheme for the bridge is also being investigated as the jewel in the crown of the project.
  • Exciting proposals for Severn Park – the vision for a new building on Severn Park is becoming clear as exciting proposals are developed by local architects Johnson Design Partnership, on behalf of Bridgnorth Town Council. The building is aiming to provide a range of facilities for residents and visitors alike, including a café/refreshment area, toilets, visitor information and a meeting/exhibition space. The project has great potential to act as a landmark building for the town, to help visitors explore Bridgnorth more effectively and to provide much needed facilities for all users of the park.
  • Castle Walk and steps – work is underway on a range of enhancement and conservation works to the town’s unique steps and castle walk. Many residents expressed concern over the condition of these areas, and as a result the project was an early priority for the MTRP. Alongside the conservation works an exciting interpretation scheme is being developed that tells the vibrant story of the steps and their key role in the town’s social history. Work has commenced on the steps, and it is expected that the whole project will be completed by Spring 2013. For further information, please follow the link below.
  • World Café a success – a business event using the World Café format brought together a range of businesses from across all sectors in Bridgnorth to help understand how the business community can be more effectively supported. A range of ideas are being developed following this event. Watch this space or get in touch for more information!

A number of ideas put forward by the community have been agreed as not being deliverable through the Market Towns Programme. However, they are being worked on through other avenues as they are very important for the town. These include a range of projects to look into more effective provision of business space, business support and training space in Bridgnorth, environmental improvements in the Tasley Close area, and a footpath between Cantreyn and Cross Lane Head.