Following the recent enthusiastic response from Cabinet members and senior officers at Bath and North East Somerset council to The Trust’s comprehensive presentation, plans were unveiled last week for the creation of hundreds of jobs, affordable homes, a marina, an early learning aquatic centre, and significant leisure and tourism opportunities for the people of Keynsham.
Geoff Dunford, a Keynsham resident and Chairman of The River Regeneration Trust, said:
‘We are delighted to have been commissioned by the council to undertake a scoping study to identify economic development opportunities in the Broadmead Peninsula.
Our 2011 report identified the River Avon at Keynsham as the best location for the creation of hundreds of jobs in a sustainable community.’
Paul Crossley, Leader of the council, added:
‘We are delighted that The River Regeneration Trust is investigating a land improvement scheme. Our long- term ambition is for Keynsham to have a significant role in the wider West of England. This will be an exciting place to live, work and be entertained. The Cabinet and I look forward to receiving the study.’
It’s also a proud moment for the council’s River and Canal Champion Cllr Dave Laming (Independent, Lambridge ward), founder in 2010 of The River Corridor Group, now the Trust.
‘We have established key relationships with Wessex Water, the Canal and River Trust, The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust and Curo Homes, together with Memoranda of Understanding with major Broadmead Peninsula landowners.
These partnerships, together with the allocation of £100,000 from the Council for river corridor regeneration, mean the Trust can now concentrate on using the river to help Keynsham reclaim hundreds of the jobs lost by the closure of Cadbury’s, and add to the 1,000 promised by Taylor Wimpey at Somerdale’ .
It comes at a time when major river developments in Bath, Saltford and Keynsham are most needed.’
Ian Humphreys, former Project Director at Mowlem, and The Trust’s Project Co-ordinator, agreed:
‘This is a great opportunity to demonstrate our unique capabilities and for me, leading a complex project team in an exciting and inspiring project that is about the creation of jobs and sustainable communities’.
Geoff Dunford concluded:
‘We are looking forward to ensuring that our preferred options are aligned with local people, landowners, and the council’s core strategy and place-making plan’.
Hopefully this will be the job creation catalyst Keynsham so desperately needs to give it the socio/economic regeneration it deserves.
The Trust will certainly do everything it can.
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