CHARD town centre will benefit from a new multi-million pound fund aimed at reviving historic high streets.

The town is one of 69 high streets selected to receive a share of the Government's High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, which is a fund of some £95 million.

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) applied for a grant of £1m to be match funded and were recently advised by Historic England that the full amount requested would be awarded.

This means approximately £2m will be invested in and around Fore Street over a four-year period.

SSDC’s funding bid comprised of four public realm projects, the restoration of historic buildings and a cultural programme, with a full-time project manager recruited to oversee the delivery of the programme.

Councillor Jason Baker, portfolio holder for the Chard Regeneration Scheme and Chairman of Area West Committee, said: “Everyone on the Chard Regeneration Board are thrilled to receive the full £1 million grant that we requested from Historic England.

"With the match funding as well, investing approximately £2 million in the high street over the next four years will make a huge difference in what we can do to improve the area and bring footfall to the town centre of Chard.”

The news of the grant funding is another positive for Chard after the recent news that great progress is continuing to be made on the construction of the new leisure centre at the Boden Mill site.

Work resumed in April as contractors were able to return to the site following Covid-19 risk assessments and adoption of new working practices.

The current work has seen sheet piling for the swimming pool now completed, and workers starting to pile the foundations for the main building.

Additional planned phases in the future will include commercial units, housing and public realm improvements (how the area will look overall) around the mill buildings and Fore Street.