Regeneration brings a new skyline for town
THE Keynsham skyline is changing as the transformation of the town centre continues.
Planning permission for the £33 million redevelopment was granted by the council in October last year.
In November demolition experts moved in to knock down old buildings to make way for a complex housing shops, restaurants and a library.
Since then all asbestos has been safely removed from the site, shop units have been demolished and the demolition of the Town Hall and library has got under way.
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Community mosaics have been moved to the park and refurbished and later this month the clock tower is expected to be removed.
Once completed the redevelopment will also feature a 'one stop shop' for local authority services, new streets and spaces for markets and events, and spacious 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 new opportunities for residents.
Council leader Paul Crossley (Lib Dem, Southdown) said: "Keynsham residents can already see a changing skyline as their town starts the process of changing for the better as we demolish the site for facilities including new shops, a new library, and a new One-Stop Shop with public services all located in once place.
"Bath & North East Somerset Council is pleased with the progress made which is all going according to plan. It is an extremely challenging task to build a £33 million investment project in the middle of a town centre whilst minimising the impact on a bustling High Street.
"We are taking every step we can to support traders. For example, because of the essential closure of the Civic Centre car park until September 2013 we have increased the number of free green parking bays in Ashton Way car park from 17 to 30 for the full duration of the works.
"We will propose to increase the maximum amount of time people can park from two hours to four hours.
He added: "There is a great sense of optimism in Keynsham about this project which sits alongside others residents will see over the coming years, including the redevelopment of Somerdale and the Riverside building that the council will vacate once the town regeneration is complete."
The council hopes that 50 people will benefit from new jobs, training and education opportunities over the next two years.
The new project has received criticism from the town's civic society who argue the designs do not reflect the town's history.
The work is being carried out by developer Willmott Dixon and is due to be completed by autumn 2014.
For the latest on the regeneration visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/keynsham regen.