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The overarching objective of North Devon Council’s Vision for Barnstaple is to re-establish the town centre as the heart of civic, commercial, cultural and community life in North Devon.

The Vision work, which drew extensively from engagement and feedback from residents, businesses and partner organisations highlighted six key challenges for our town:

  1. revitalising and diversifying the town centre economy
  2. restoring, reusing and celebrating Barnstaple’s historic buildings and townscapes
  3. encouraging walking and cycling, and reducing the negative impact of traffic and parking
  4. reconnecting the town to the river Taw
  5. establishing a complementary relationship between the town centre and the south bank of the river
  6. contributing to the implementation of the Devon Climate Declaration

The Economic Development team is applying for £9 million of Government support through the Future High Streets Fund to kick start some projects that will help to transform the town into a place where residents have access to good quality retail, leisure and open spaces; local businesses thrive in fit for purpose spaces and visitors will want to visit and spend in the our local economy.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden says: “With the help from our residents and businesses we have set Barnstaple on an exciting course for change and if successful, this funding would see the first of many transformational projects in the heart of our town centre, being called the ‘Markets Quarter’”

The funding proposals focus on the ‘Markets Quarter’. The fund would seek to address the derelict listed building and façade on Boutport Street by regenerating the listed building and providing a new gateway directly from the car park through to Butchers Row. Seeking to maximise the opportunities within the Pannier market and the Guildhall with options to redefine the space and improve facilities within, which could provide a home for the many artists, creators and makers local to North Devon. When combined these proposals will give a new heart to Barnstaple, a unique destination that will boost footfall to the High Street providing an enhanced experience for all users.

These set of conceptual proposals will continue to be refined through community consultation whilst we wait the outcome of this funding bid in the autumn.

Cllr Malcolm Prowse; Deputy Leader and Economic Development lead member says: “North Devon Council will be implementing an ongoing process of engagement for the people working, living and visiting the town to ensure we have an agreed set of proposals that meets all our needs from a well-functioning town centre.  We would like to establish a ‘Citizen’s panel’ to assist us in this engagement so please do contact our Economic Development team at if you would like to have a proactive role in evolving the town centre’s future.”

Location Map, Barnstaple:  The 4 proposed sites for improvements as part of the Future High Streets Fund bid

Artists impression of Butchers Row with people milling around

Artists Impression: One of the possible improvements that will bring Butchers Row and the Pannier Market into greater use with a high quality food/drink and retail offer