Teamwork the key to ensuring town survives and thrives
Keynshamvoice catches up with Keynsham’s Town Team for a round-up of the projects under way to revitalise the town's High Street.
'Town teams' were set up across the country last year in the wake of Mary Portas’s review of the British high street to help reverse the downward spiral affecting so many of the nation’s shopping areas. As an offshoot of the Chamber of Commerce, Keynsham’s Town Team has brought together a number of retailers, residents and representatives of other local businesses. While coming up with ideas to improve and promote the town is a key part of the Town Team remit, putting those ideas into action is the most important aspect and we have caught up with Keynsham’s Town Team for a round-up of the projects under way.
What we have achieved
We have tried to improve the look of the High Street with resin benches and planters outside Simply Carpets. We hope to have more permanent planters throughout the High Street, where positions have been agreed and discussions are continuing. We have also achieved an improved level of cleanliness in public areas in conjunction with B&NES Council.
The Town Team has also backed the campaign for two hours’ free parking for shoppers and visitors to Keynsham, now available in the Labott car park.
We also pressed for the relocation of the bus stop that was outside the old Civic Centre to a more suitable location away from sensitive premises. To help Temple Street traders during the redevelopment period, the group also got graphics installed on the hoardings and a large sign stating that the businesses are open as usual.
We have also kept a close eye on empty properties on the High Street and tried to fill them.
Another intiative is the regular craft market now held at the Scout HQ in Ashton Way alongside the monthly Keynsham Farmers’ Market. We also organised zumba and jazzercise displays at the music festival, and zumba in the park.
What we are working towards
- A potential street art project with the support of the Civic Society who made us aware of a wonderful 1940s illustrated map.
- A way-finding map, showing places of historical interest as well as all businesses and services. This is a project that is hoped to be progressed soon.
- We have begun to put together a business advice pack for potential new businesses to Keynsham.