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Local residents are running out of time to have their say in a public consultation about improvements coming to Barnstaple town centre. 

North Devon Council recently embarked upon a series of projects to renew and reshape the town centre, thanks to funding from the Government's national Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) programme. The projects aim to improve the community's experience of the town, drive growth and ensure future sustainability. The council launched a consultation in January to find out what North Devon's residents think about progress so far, which closes on Friday 4 March.

Barnstaple's FHSF project is the creation of the ‘Market Quarter’, which has four distinct strands:

  • Pannier Market - reinventing and diversifying the market into a flexible space for a more varied and ambitious programme of markets, events and community gatherings
  • Boutport Street development - restoring and renovating the historic 36/37 Boutport Street into an exciting mixed-use development of workspace and town centre living, and creating a vital pedestrian gateway to the town
  • Queen Street car park - changing and improving the main vehicular access routes into the Queen Street car park and redesigning the layout to create a clear pedestrian pathway to the town
  • Butchers Row and Cross Street - pedestrianising (10am-4pm) the most distinctive street in the town, allowing traders to spill onto the street and visitors to eat and drink al fresco. This will connect the historic core of Barnstaple to the river front

Lead Member for Economic Development and Regeneration at North Devon Council, Councillor Malcolm Prowse says: "There are only a few more days left to take part in the Market Quarter consultation and we would urge you to have your say while there's still time. We are incredibly excited about the improvements coming to Barnstaple and believe that they will make it a town we can really feel proud of.

"We have always sought out the views of our local community throughout the course of the project; the Market Quarter concepts were developed after we invited local residents, businesses and other stakeholders to tell us what changes they wanted to see in the town centre. It's so important to keep that dialogue going so that those who live, work in and visit the town can help shape plans as we progress."

The Market Quarter schemes were developed following extensive consultation with local people, the business community and partner organisations as the council looked to develop a future vision for the town with their 'Barnstaple Vision' initiative. The projects are being funded by a £6.5m allocation from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) programme, with £4.4m match funding from North Devon Council.

The council started work on the projects in August last year when they appointed a design team which includes Oxford Architects, Method Ltd (Mechanical and Engineering) and Clarkebond (Structural Engineering). These companies, together with the separately appointed Gates (Quantity Surveyors) and Currie and Brown (Project Management), will help bring the four interventions to fruition. 

Concept designs for the Market Quarter projects have been developed through key stakeholder feedback and specialist surveys. Members of the public will have the opportunity to help develop these concepts further, ready for planning permission submission this Spring. 

The consultation will be open until Friday 4 March. Residents can find out more and participate by visiting Green Lanes Shopping Centre, where information boards are displayed. The survey and associated information - plus more on the projects - is also available on the website