Weston-super-Mare Heritage Tour
Explore the rich and varied architectural heritage of Weston-super-Mare and the story of how it grew into a busy seaside resort.
The west end of Weston-super-Mare's High Street is characterised by a unique and unusual group of 20th-century buildings.
Weston-super-Mare’s expansion in the 20th century produced a unique architectural legacy. The western part of the High Street contrasts with the largely 19th-century town centre, offering glimpses of 1920s seaside fun, post-war optimism and 1960s space age idealism. It includes a cluster of important civic buildings including the Town Hall, Magistrate’s Court and three churches, plus parades of shops and offices and the stunning 1935 art deco Odeon cinema, the first in the country.
Weston’s 20th-century zone sits at the gateway to the town on the main route linking the railway station and the seafront. But this area is failing and neglected with a very high vacancy rate (25%) and high levels of social deprivation. The town centre no longer has any national department stores and footfall has decreased year on year. The poor state of repair of the buildings, shopfronts and public realm means few users stay long or spend much in this part of the town centre.
An award of up to £1.1 million to North Somerset Council will fund the High Streets Heritage Action Zone. This will work alongside other regeneration initiatives in Weston to breathe new life into the town's 20th century buildings, repairing them and finding new uses for them, turning surplus retail space into homes, business premises and community spaces. Alongside physical improvements, there will be a cultural programme building on Weston’s thriving creative scene, engaging people with the town’s heritage and looking ahead to its future.
Below you can find just some of the progress being made in the Weston-super-Mare High Street Heritage Action Zone. For more, follow us on Twitter @HistoricEngland.
The scheme is breathing new life into the town's 20th-century buildings.
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