A designated “High Street Heritage Action Zone” (HSHAZ), Chard’s historic centre has been undergoing a host of architectural and visual improvements over the past four years, thanks to £1million of ring-fenced government high streets funding from Historic England.

With enhancements to the town’s public spaces or ‘Public Realm’ completed in February this year, and shop front renovations almost concluded, the popular Somerset town is nearing completion of a major revitalisation programme, unlocking Chard’s potential as a unique place to live, work and visit. The final push is on!

Cllr Ros Wyke, Lead Member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets, commented:

“The regeneration of Chard’s town centre showcases the importance of investing in our unique heritage towns. The successful completion of Chard’s public realm works is already delivering benefits; improved accessibility and connectivity, a vibrant, attractive, safer environment for locals, businesses and visitors, as well as a clear sense of civic pride in the history and character of their town.

With work now pressing ahead on the repair and restoration of the remaining in scope historic buildings and shop fronts, this is a hugely exciting time for Chard as we near completion of this ambitious programme of economic and cultural regeneration.”

Undertaken in two parts, HSHAZ Phase 1 concentrated on creating an improved, accessible and attractive town centre environment for the public, with safer crossing points, new footways, greener spaces to enable café seating, space for markets and improved connectivity across the town.

With the majority of Chard’s town centre designated as a conservation area, HSHAZ phase 2 has focussed on the repair and renovation of selected historic shop fronts and buildings, the rejuvenating local business owners and local trade.

Bill Richardson, son of the property owner at 2 Holyrood Street confirms:

“The grant funding has allowed me to undertake vital repair works to the premises of Barrons Chard, substantially improving the presence of the building within Holyrood Street. For over 40 years the shop has been an integral part of Chard’s town centre and the refurbishments which have been enabled as a result of this investment will, we hope, ensure that the business will continue to thrive.”

Phase 3 of the programme has involved the community of Chard with Community Engagement Projects as well as Cultural Events under the banner of Culturally Chard. These will be an integral and ongoing part of the economic and cultural development of the town.


Alusitana Cafe and flats above - 2A High St, Chard

About this article

March 20, 2024

Gayatri Barua-Howe


Press Release