The Council has now officially signed an agreement with Watchet Task Force to unlock £30,000 of funding to promote the town with the aim of boosting visitor numbers. The funding was approved in principle pending agreed terms.

The money will be used to support social media promotion, advertising, events and part of it will fund a long-term review of the design of the town to explore the potential for future improvements.

In addition, new permanent signage has been installed across the town to provide information about accessing communities, including improved and updated brown signs for the Blue Anchor area.

In Old Cleeve, the Council’s team has been liaising with the Parish Council on a number of measures to support the community and mitigate the impact of the B3191 closure.

These include:

  • No HGVs signage – now in place
  • New name plates for Chapel Cleeve and Old Cleeve – on order
  • Additional 30 mph speed markings – due to be installed shortly
  • Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) – on order
  • A review of speed limits in the parish area is ongoing

The Council is continuing to work alongside Watchet Task Force, as well as the town’s Visitor Centre and community-run Onion Collective, and local businesses, to support the local economy in Watchet.

Other important measures include:

  • Working with Visit Somerset and Visit Exmoor on a package of measures to promote the town.
  • Work to establish a new coastal path route and work to enhance existing routes for walkers and cyclists.
  • Promotion and support from Somerset Council via media and social media.
  • A proposed realignment of the car park entrance in Swain Street to improve traffic flow.
  • Proposed realignment of the road at the entrance to Watchet so traffic is directed down Harbour Road rather than Swain Street.

Councillor Ros Wyke, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets, said:

It’s fantastic to see the partnership work going on in Watchet to support the town and local businesses.

This is about building resilience and ensuring the local economy survives and thrives in the long-run. The message for potential visitors to this lovely corner of Somerset is simple – Watchet is open for business and here all year, and we want to ensure the community and local businesses have a good summer, autumn and winter.

The B3191 on Cleeve Hill is closed indefinitely due to safety concerns following the results of a geotechnical survey looking at serious and significant cliff erosion close to the road.

Detailed inspections revealed further movement is inevitable with the conclusion that it will be impossible to safely reopen the road without major intervention. The Government has confirmed no funding is available for such a scheme at this time.

View of Watchet towards Cleeve Hill

About this article

August 2, 2023

Rebecca Howat

Press Release