WORK to make a high street safer and more accessible started this month.

High Street Heritage Action Zone work started in Chard on November 8, and there will be traffic management schemes in place at times.

The improvements are taking place after the opening of the new Chard leisure centre, and the start of the public realm improvements.

READ MORE: Chard Leisure Centre, run by Freedom Leisure, now open READ MORE: Work to start on Chard high street improvements

On November 8, work started on the north side of Fore Street.

The improvements, which are part of the Chard Regeneration Scheme, include:

  • Repaving the pavements with natural stone in keeping with the historic character of the town and its Conservation Area
  • Enhancing the setting of heritage features, including the Guildhall, the unique water rills, and many listed buildings
  • Widening the pavements in key locations
  • Planting new trees and plant beds
  • Decluttering street furniture
  • Creating new cycle parking and seating areas

Portfolio holder for Chard Regeneration, Cllr Jason Baker, said; “The leisure centre was not the end to the work in Chard. I am very pleased to see the work to the public realm progressing.

"The improvements to Fore Street will play a large part in improving the town centre environment, ultimately making Chard a better place to live, work and visit.”

Alun Griffiths Ltd has been appointed as the construction contractor to deliver the High Street Heritage Action Zone improvements to the public realm at Fore Street, Holyrood Street and Boden Street, as well as works at Marketfield and the Eastern Gateway.

They have also started work at Holyrood Street, with a trial hole investigation, Western Power diversion works, and a tree pit installation work taking place outside of Sainsbury's.

Access to business premises will be maintained, but some traffic management will be needed at times.

The work on Fore Street is due to be complete by 2022.

Chard has been designated a High Street Heritage Action Zone and secured £2m funding to revitalise its town centre.

As well as this, more than £1million of government high streets funding from Historic England has been matched by more than £1million from South Somerset District Council.

If you have any queries or concerns about the work, contact Alun Griffiths Public Liaison Officer on 0330 041 2184 or email