Funding could help to unlock potential of Bradford on Avon site
Wiltshire Council has secured funding from the government's One Public Estate (OPE) programme to explore future possibilities for a new community facility in central Bradford on Avon.
The site, opposite the railway station, is currently home to the town's health centre, and a police and fire station. The funding will be used to conduct feasibility and environmental studies to see whether the site could be redeveloped to benefit the town, including a new health centre; combined facilities for fire, police and community emergency volunteers; a new museum; a tourist information centre; council offices and social housing. This funding will help to test different ideas for the site and help establish what it could become in the future.
Specifically, the funding will be used to engage a team of architects and masterplanners on the project, and help establish what it could become in the future. This work is expected to begin in the autumn, in consultation with Bradford on Avon town council, other public sector partners, residents and businesses.
Once ideas have been collated, any plans will, at a later stage of the process, be subject to full consultation. Any development of the site is some way off and would also be subject to further applications for funding that would be led by the town council.
Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:
This funding will help to develop ideas for the future of this central Bradford on Avon site, and represents the first step on the road to redevelopment.
What this project won't do is come up with quick solutions once these plans are developed, the scheme still has a long way ahead of any build, as all stages will be subject to consultation, and the development would require significant funding.
We're looking forward to working with the town council, the health centre, our partners, businesses and the local community to explore what could be possible for this important central site.
The Mayor of Bradford on Avon, Cllr Simon McNeill-Ritchie, said:
This funding is the result of a three-year process and I am grateful to Wiltshire Council for their work to secure this opportunity for the town. I hope that it marks the beginning of a working partnership that will lead to even better public health and other civic services for our residents.
Dr Janice Patrick, Senior Partner at the Bradford on Avon Health Centre, said:
The partners at Bradford on Avon Health Centre fully support and welcome this exciting opportunity.
The future of general practice is to work more collaboratively with wider community organisations in order to provide effective health and wellbeing services. This requires investment in not only people, but fit for purpose buildings in easily accessible locations.
The OPE programme provides support and funding to councils around the country to create property-focused projects that bring economic growth; bring services together; and generate efficiencies through capital income and reduced running costs.