£7.5m boost for Kingswood High Street improvements

Kingswood High Street Bristol CGI

A major scheme to rejuvenate Kingswood High Street has been given a £7.5 million boost by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

The provisional investment is linked to WECA’s Love our High Streets programme and is subject to Government funding being secured. It presents a significant opportunity to lever in a provisional award of £12.5m through the Government’s Future High Streets programme, alongside £5m from South Gloucestershire Council.

It will support the council with property acquisition and first phase redevelopment; the restoration of the Whitfield Tabernacle (with funding for stabilisation previously awarded by WECA), the pedestrianisation of Regent Street and public realm enhancement.

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “I created and invested in the Love our High Streets programme to transform our town centres and give them a renewed vigour, ensuring our high streets remain the anchors of our local communities, as part of the region’s recovery.

“The future of our high streets isn’t just about shops, it’s about our businesses, community activities and the way that spaces are used. Kingswood is by far the stand-out example of how, by working together in the region and with Government, we can have a positive plan for our High Streets and make them real destinations again.”

Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Mayor Bowles’ support for the development of the Kingswood Future High Streets Fund project has been invaluable and this latest funding injection has enabled us to make a swift and positive response to the Government to demonstrate how we can collectively deliver £25 million of public investment.

“Together with the private sector and the community, we will transform the heart of Kingswood, create opportunities for a new family and evening economy in the area and inspire further public and private sector investment into Kingswood that has been lacking for decades. We look forward to further engaging the public with our plans and to developing opportunities for other high streets in South Gloucestershire.”

WECA has also committed £350,000 for South Gloucestershire Council to develop an outline business case to secure funding for transport measures for the North Fringe Public Infrastructure Package.

The funding would support a design review of the highway network in the North Fringe to enable the most efficient use of the transport network, including the strategic road network to improve public transport.