Plans to improve Wells Recreation Ground take a step forward

Mendip District CouncilThe Wells Recreation Ground Trust is to approach the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish how much grant funding could be available for improvements to the recreation ground and Bishop’s Barn.

Last Thursday’s (March 6th) meeting of the trust agreed that submitting a pre-application funding enquiry to the Heritage

Lottery Fund, plus other grant funding bodies, would give a clearer idea of how much funding might be available to deliver the trust’s preferred option for the site.

The trust also agreed to carry out further consultation on the project with residents living in the immediate local area, including those in Silver Street, South Street and Carlton Mews, and also Wells City Football Club.

The main elements of the trust’s preferred scheme include:

  • Complete refurbishment of the Bishop’s Barn, with better heating, insulation, lighting, equipped catering, toilet and storage facilities
  • Removal of the car parking at the front of the barn on Silver Street
  • Relocation of the play area and improvements to the hard landscaping to the north of the barn to enable the use of marquees
  • Relocate the bowling green and build a new clubhouse and associated facilities
  • Redesign and re-landscape the grounds
  • Create a ‘destination play area’
  • On-site parking for the use of the barn and bowls club
  • Develop a stronger link between the recreation ground and the Palace moat to improve the accessibility and integration of the park
  • Relocation of the bandstand

The total cost of the project is estimated to be £1.95million.

The trust also agreed to consult with the Somerset Building Preservation Trust regarding the feasibility of them taking a lease from the Wells Recreation Ground Trust for the Bishop’s Barn part of the site in order to project manage improvements to this area.

There would also be further consultation with Wells Bowls Club about the possibility of them relocating to the Bell Close part of the site, and also with Better Play Areas for Wells about the feasibility of the group managing the development of the proposed destination play area.

Cllr John North, Chair of the Wells Recreation Ground Trust, said: “I would like to thank all of the members of the public who attended the meeting to hear about our proposals for the site.

“I was very encouraged to see so many people attend the meeting and I can assure the residents of Wells that the Trust is well aware of the importance that local people attach to this site.

“The input from local people to this scheme has been extremely valuable and I hope that we will soon be in a position to clarify our funding situation and how much of this ambitious project we will be able to deliver.”

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