Task force to brighten resort's evenings
A TASK force has been set up to improve Weston-super-Mare's night time economy.
A working group, made up of representatives from the police, town council, pub watch and hotels and restaurants association among others, is to look at ways of making the town centre safer and increasing the number of people visiting at night.
The group will work towards securing a coveted Purple Flag award for the resort, which last year welcomed 6.5 million visitors who brought almost £369 million into the local economy.
The Purple Flag scheme, run by the Association of Town Centre Management, aims to broaden the appeal of town centres between 5pm and 6am.
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The launch of the working group follows the recruitment of a team of street wardens, due to hit the streets of the resort later this month.
Seven wardens have been employed at a cost of £120,000 a year – funded with cash raised through the Weston Business Improvement District (BID) initiative. The Weston BID collects extra cash from businesses in the town centre via the business rates which is then used to pay for improvements to the area.
Four wardens will work through the day while three will work at night, patrolling until 3am at weekends.
A taxi marshal scheme will also be launched to ensure people wait for their lift home in an orderly way.
Weston business crime reduction initiative co-ordinator David Gwynne said: "We want to make Weston a safer and better place for everyone to visit.
"We need to look at how the town centre works in the evening and perhaps encourage late night shopping and put on entertainment."