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The South West Taunton’s Dynamic Developments Garden Town


As a new Council, Somerset West and Taunton is very ambitious in delivering against its Garden Town growth prospectus, of which a major aspect is the delivery of major strategic mixed use and commercial employment sites, including the mixed use site at Firepool in Taunton town centre, the strategic commercial employment site called Nexus at Junction 25 of the M5 and the Riverside Coal Orchard.


We have been progressing the full business case of the High Street Regeneration Fund which will be submitted in March 2020 and there will be a vote in March on whether to establish a Business Improvement District, all will help to regenerate and give new vigour to the attractiveness of Taunton as a County Town for all.


The Council owns several key sites around the Town Centre and these present a real opportunity for us to lead the way through exemplar development. We’ll place the River Tone at the heart of the town and ensure that future investment will be delivered with sustainability in mind, given the declared Climate emergency for Somerset and our Council. Examples of developments underway include:


Firepool


Firepool is intended to be the flagship regeneration project for Taunton. It will be a commercial leisure destination to reinforce the town centre extending stays and bringing new business and visitors. It will comprise of offices and 700 residential units to help the process of creating a new urban edge to Taunton of up to 5,000 new residential units in the Town Centre. This will help underpin the shopping centre and act as a catalyst to the transformation of a river focused town centre. Mixing our garden town status with high quality realm, will lead to a successful retail centre with a best in class leisure offer. It will have a boulevard running through it from the railway station across the river Tone into Riverside Coal Orchard and on into the heart of the town centre itself, with cycle and pedestrian passages and open spaces to dwell by the river.


The new Council has developed its first economic development strategy which will go live from April 2020, helping to deliver an open innovation collaborative business environment on Firepool, building on the existing cluster activity of Digital Taunton and its Meet Ups of over 80 digital businesses monthly and an intended Digital Innovation centre as a starting point for the commercial part of the site to progress. Ultimately, the ambition is to host a UK Hydrographic Office innovation centre in support of the commercialisation of maritime


Firepool


data, a key opportunity referenced in the Heart of the South West’s Local Industrial Strategy.


The estimated economic impact of this site is significant with a direct investment in the local economy of £185 million, 3000 construction jobs and an additional local spend in the economy of £75m million with a total development area of 65,000 m².


Coal Orchard


Coal Orchard is a £20 million pound regeneration project, an exclusive riverside development delivering an attractive mix of restaurant, retail, leisure and residential opportunities. Already hosting the Brewhouse theatre and Somerset County Cricket Ground, it is already established as a vibrant destination for the arts, cultural and sports quarter.


You can find out more about Riverside at Coal Orchard or to register your interest, visit the website www.riversidecoalorchard.co.uk.


Nexus 25


Nexus 25 is a strategic employment site at J25 of the M5 with major access works on the J25 roundabout already well underway. It will be a beacon for the knowledge economy jobs, providing a range of flexible premises, providing space for research and development, health, education and digital technology alongside high quality offices and light industrial units. It is designed as a sustainable ‘Green Campus,’ which will include walkways, water features and landscaping to create an environment in line with Taunton’s Garden Town status.


Riverside Coal Orchard COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MONTHLY 2020 53


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