Region: South West
Owner Type: Many
Funding Body: HERS; Public; Private
Year of Intervention: 1999 - 2003
Summary: Langport- tackling decline by encouraging new businesses in a small rural Somerset market town through the aid of the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS)
Description: Langport- tackling decline by encouraging new businesses in a small rural Somerset market town through the aid of the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS)
Issue: The main concern centres around traffic blight and the unsafe environment for pedestrians. Over the years, there has been noticeable economic decline resulting in under-investment in buildings in the centre of the town, including several listed buildings of significant interest. In addition the lack of affordable housing has been identified in the town, particularly smaller units suitable for single people or couples.
Strategy: In recognition of the issues addresses, the Langport and Somerton Regeneration project was initiated in 1999 and the town was awarded HERS funding the following year. The HERS aims to contribute to economic regeneration of Langport, helping to attract customers to the town centre and improve the vitality, safety and appearance of the environment. In 1999, planning permission was granted for a supermarket to be built on the edge of the town centre. It was acknowledged that this would have a significant impact on existing facilities and that it was essential for investment to be encouraged in the town centre. The HERS therefore sought to enhance key buildings in the town substantially and encourage existing property owners and businesses to invest in and contribute to providing a safe and more pleasant environment. The scheme also seeks to fund architectural reinstatement and to provide rented accommodation to address the town’s shortage of affordable housing.
Outcome: In 2002 the scheme was well under way and a number of projects were on-site, including the Old Bookshop on Bow Street, the Langport Arms and the Bank Chambers. The projects that had been completed were already demonstrating improvements to the quality of the environment and benefits to local businesses, and creating private rented accommodation and new jobs for local people.
Keywords: Grants, Regeneration, Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration
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