Demolition of Keynsham centre begins ahead of £34 million redesign
WORK has begun on the £34 million redevelopment of Keynsham town centre.
Demolition experts today started knocking down ageing shop units after planning permission for a new-look centre was granted last month.
The redevelopment will feature space for shops and restaurants, a library and 'one stop shop' for local authority services, new streets and spaces for markets and events, and council offices.
Bath and North East Somerset Council, which is behind the regeneration project, believes the improvements planned for the town centre will encourage private sector investment into Keynsham resulting in new jobs, new homes and opportunities for residents.
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The work, which is being carried out by developer Willmott Dixon, is due to be complete by autumn 2014.
Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), leader of the council, said: "With the start of demolition of the retail units and recent planning approval there is a sense that the regeneration of Keynsham is now happening for real."
The council says 50 people will benefit from new jobs, training, and education opportunities over the next two years. This will include work experience placements as well as graduate and apprentice placements.
Mr Crossley said: "The positive news for our community as work starts is that Bath & North East Somerset Council has secured a range of new jobs and skills development opportunities especially for our residents.
"In other words, local people will have a role in building and learning from the bricks and mortar which represent the foundation for Keynsham's regeneration."
The project represents part of the council's overall plans for the town, including the redevelopment of the Cadbury factory at Somerdale.