A designated “High Street Heritage Action Zone” (HSHAZ), Chard’s historic centre is experiencing a host of architectural and aesthetic improvements, as public spaces and shop front enhancements revitalise the popular Somerset town – and there is more to come.
The HSHAZ project aims to make Chard’s main shopping area a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to work, live and visit, with phase one of works to the public realm in Fore Street and Holyrood Street completing in February this year.
The project is a jointly funded partnership between Somerset Council (formerly South Somerset District Council) and Historic England, using Government high streets funding.
Residents and visitors alike have seen tired concrete paving and kerbs widened and replaced with natural stone and the repair of historic rills with Blue Lias stone, in-keeping with the character of the town and its rich history and creating a safer, more attractive and accessible environment for pedestrians.
Other completed projects include the reinstatement of new paving near the Guildhall band and the first phase of restoration of the Upper Fore Street paving, following emergency works by National Grid.
Phase two is already well underway, focussing on the renovation and repair of historic shopfronts and buildings, thanks to grants from the HSHAZ scheme.
Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director at Historic England, said:
“We’re excited to see this phase of works getting under way in Chard’s historic town centre, a designated conservation area with over 50 listed buildings.
“The shop front renovations to Barron’s on Holyrood Street, the first town centre building to be awarded a building improvement grant from HSHAZ, shows what a difference repairing historic features can make.
“Passers-by, as they look up, can see the dormer windows restored with their new finials, refurbished gutters and a beautifully repainted shop front. Later in the year the building will see a new retractable canopy to create shade and add charm and character.
“Over the coming weeks, further small projects will start on Holyrood Street and Fore Street, including the repainting of the Grade II-listed railings and gates at the front of the mid-19th century Baptist Chapel on Holyrood Street.”
Cllr Ros Wyke, Executive Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning & Assets at Somerset Council said:
“It’s exciting to see this next phase of works taking place in Chard.
“The project will see renovations to a further four properties in the coming weeks and another four buildings later this year.”
“It’s important that our high street heritage is looked after so it can be preserved and enjoyed by all for years to come.”
Learn about Chard Regeneration here: Chard Regeneration.