Unlocking Weston’s potential with Heritage Action Zones

Reviving the town with restoration and investment

How first Heritage Action Zone is going

The first HAZ in Great Weston is set to complete at the end of 2022.

With investment from Historic England rundown buildings have been restored and new shops have popped up on the High Street.

Slowly, the town centre is being revitalised and transformed into a bustling community space for work and leisure.

Funding for these key areas is being channelled towards community engagements, local capacity building and the Great Weston Conversation Area, as well as improving shopfronts to restore the heritage of the town.

In this stage of the regeneration, efforts shifted from the seafront to the Victorian town centre. We now have two new listed buildings, which are Weston Railway Station and WHSmith on the high street.

Several other historic buildings and notable 20th-century premises benefited from grants to restore their former grandeur, including the 1950s shopfront of local retailer Walker and Ling. This restoration earned it a local Civic Society Award in 2022.

Plans for the second Heritage Action Zone

The second HAZ focuses on the town’s extension and architectural significance.

The town centre suffered very high vacancy rates (25%) and high levels of social deprivation in recent years. Illustrative of its decline, it no longer has any national department stores and footfall has decreased year on year.

With investment of up to £1.1 million, North Somerset Council will work alongside other regeneration initiatives in Weston to breathe new life into the town’s 20th century buildings. Some buildings will be repaired, others will change their use and others will become business premises or community spaces.

This investment catalyses growth and positive change in the town and creates a vibrant place to live, work and visit.