Bath & North East Somerset Council is on track to complete its £34 million redevelopment of Keynsham by the Autumn.
The Council is working with the local community to revitalise the town with new jobs, new homes, and a revamped town centre. Plans include making better use of the existing town hall site to improve the town centre and encourage more private sector investment into Keynsham.
A Sainsbury’s Local was last month confirmed as the first letting for the development, and will create 20 to 25 full and part job opportunities. The Council has confirmed that Loungers cafe has agreed to take the unit behind Sainsbury’s, overlooking the park and a further unnamed occupier is relocating from Riverside. The Council is proactively marketing the remaining units and negotiations are underway on a number of these.
The new buildings will be known as the Keynsham Civic Centre, and will incorporate Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Offices, the One Stop Shop and retail units. The Council has also confirmed that a new street being created between the buildings will be called Market Walk, which links to the history of this part of the town, as well as looking to the future when there will be market stalls at this location.
Keynsham Civic Centre will be amongst the most energy-efficient in the country, with work to install one of the largest council-owned solar panel systems in the UK now completed.
The 750 solar panels – which cover an area equivalent to more than four tennis courts – will generate over 230,000 units of electricity each year, equivalent to the annual energy use of almost 70 homes. This will benefit the Council by around £50,000 every year, and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 125 tonnes. Over 20 years the benefits are expected to reach almost £1.5 million, and avoid CO2 emissions of 2,355 tonnes.
Cllr David Bellotti (LibDem, Lyncombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Resources, said: “This is a very exciting time for Keynsham and I have no doubt that this development will provide a real boost to the local economy with the creation of new jobs, better shopping facilities and a more attractive town centre.
“It is also a key part of the Council’s contribution to the district-wide carbon emission reduction target of 45% by 2026. Our Council office will be an ultra-low carbon building that has virtually no heating and cooling requirement because it will have natural ventilation and high levels of insulation. By generating our own solar energy on-site we will drastically reduce the building’s running costs and will also generate a stable income through the feed-in tariff.
“Not only will this benefit the environment, it will also save the Council and local taxpayers money which can be used to support essential frontline services.”
The development work is being carried out by Willmott Dixon while the solar installation was designed and installed by Solarsense.
For more information on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s regeneration of Keynsham town Centre, visit: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/keynshamregen.