From North Devon Council:
Lots of people in and around Bude go at least occasionally to Barnstaple town centre for shopping.
Now, North Devon’s residents, businesses and visitors are being asked to share their views about Barnstaple town centre in a survey as part of North Devon Council’s work to create a new Market Quarter in the heart of the town.
The Market Quarter project was developed following extensive consultation with local people, town centre businesses and partner organisations and thanks to funding from the Government’s national Future High Streets Fund (FHSF). The fund was launched with the aim of renewing and reshaping town centres across the country. The Market Quarter aims to improve the community’s experience of Barnstaple town centre, drive growth and ensure future sustainability.
With work on the various Market Quarter initiatives now well underway, the council wants to understand the community’s needs and aspirations to continue making informed decisions that improve Barnstaple for those who spend time there. This survey aims to gather insights into thoughts, opinions and attitudes to guide positive change and ensure the success of ongoing regeneration initiatives.
There are four distinct strands to the ‘Market Quarter’:
- Pannier Market – reinventing and diversifying the market into a flexible space for a more varied and ambitious programme of markets, events and community gatherings. The market is currently closed for refurbishment works and will be reopened in the summer
- Boutport Street development – restoring and renovating the historic 36/37 Boutport Street into an exciting mixed-use development of workspace and town centre living, and creating a vital pedestrian gateway to the town
- Queen Street car park – changing and improving the main vehicular access routes into the Queen Street car park and redesigning the layout to create a clear pedestrian pathway to the town
- Butchers Row and Cross Street – permanently pedestrianising (10am-4pm) the most distinctive street in the town, allowing traders to spill onto the street and visitors to eat and drink al fresco. This will connect the historic core of Barnstaple to the river front
The £6.5m allocation from the FHSF programme has been bolstered by £4.4m match funding from the council to enable each of the projects to be developed. Work on the four projects will be completed by June 2025.
Lead Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse says: “We are incredibly excited about the improvements coming to our town centre, which will help make Barnstaple a destination town that we can really feel proud of. The Market Quarter schemes were developed after we invited the community to tell us what changes they wanted to see in the town centre and we believe it’s vital to keep talking to those who live, work in and visit the town throughout the delivery of the four projects. This means we will be periodically asking the North Devon community to share ideas and thoughts at key stages, like this one. We’d like to invite all of our residents, businesses and visitors to take part in this consultation to ensure their voices are heard and everyone gets a say on their town.”
The consultation will start today (Monday 19 June) and will be open for six weeks. The survey will be accessible in paper form, around the town centre businesses and Green Lanes and will also be available on the council website at www.northdevon.gov.uk/market-quarter-consultation.
More information about Barnstaple’s Future High Street Fund’s journey is available on www.barnstaple.co.uk/market-quarter.