New greenery, seating and a re-arranged assortment of street traders will soon be underway in a project to improve the environment of Union Street in Bath, increase visitor footfall to the north of the city and encourage trade.
Bath and North East Somerset Council is working with the Bath Business Improvement District and local traders on the £170,000 scheme, which will see environmentally-friendly street furniture installed alongside new planting, to boost biodiversity and create spaces for people to dwell.
The first phase of the project begins on 17 September and aims to improve the vibrancy and attractiveness of Union Street for residents and visitors to Bath. It includes a pilot aiming to test the concept of bespoke, branded stalls in the city to celebrate the ‘Union Street Independent Traders’ as a destination.
The scheme is co-funded by the business community and developer contributions, via Bath and North East Somerset Council funding allocated for city centre street improvements.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Heritage and Community Services at Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “Union Street is a key north-south route across the city and this project aims to boost its identity for businesses and the community.
Following engagement with local businesses in the design process, led by local landscape specialists Macgregor Smith, we have taken forward ideas on installing seating and planting in order to increase the length of time – known as dwell time – that people enjoy Union Street.
We have also worked closely with the street traders on Union Street on the pilot to deliver an improved street trading environment. The project will create an improved environment for visitors to one of the most well-known streets in Bath.”
Allison Herbert, Chief Executive of Bath BID, said: “We were delighted to be invited to participate in this collaborative project to look at improvements to the environment of Union Street. Our footfall counters show that it is the busiest street in Bath, but we know that people don’t linger, nor are they encouraged to discover the wonderful hidden streets which connect to Union Street. The BID funded the early design work with professional, award-winning local practice Macgregor Smith and hosted local business consultations.
It will be wonderful to see the planting and the seating finally installed this month, and we anticipate that the new location for the street stalls will benefit pedestrians and businesses. We hope that this pilot will be extended into the future phases and other areas with improved decorative lighting being a key aspiration from local businesses.
The street furniture and planters are manufactured by a highly sustainable company who use 100% renewable energy sources for manufacture and have a carbon neutral factory, as well as using environmentally-certified Scandinavian timber.
For more information about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Public Realm and Movement strategy, go to https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/major-projects/public-realm-and-movement
More information about Bath BID can be found at www.bathbid.co.uk