WEYMOUTH town centre is set to get a makeover as part of plans to improve the ‘look and feel’ of the heart of the borough.

Council chiefs are looking to free up £90,000 of reserves to fund the project, which includes improving the condition of buildings as well as the shopping streets.

It comes after Weymouth’s conservation area was put on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register following an assessment last September.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee is being recommended to allocate £50,000 to support works, plus £40,000 to fund the salary of a new conservation enforcement officer.

The money will come from the one-off project reserves budget and officers say it will be used to physically improve the town centre for residents, visitors and businesses, while improving the condition of buildings and shop fronts in the conservation area.

As it stands, the funds to improve the town centre will be put towards a number of projects, including the removal and replacement of town centre signage to support pedestrian movement across the town centre. It will also be used to resurface a number of key areas of the highway in the town centre.

Former councillor and now BID chief operations officer Claudia Moore, who was a member of the borough council’s scrutiny and performance committee and helped organise the assessment, said this is the first time the borough has been found to have ‘at risk’ buildings by Historic England.

She said: “We have never been on the ‘at risk’ register with Historic England and were put on around September last year.”

Despite this, the status has allowed for more access to grants and advice from Historic England.

The conservation enforcement officer will be tasked with addressing the poor condition of listed and non-listed buildings in the conservation area as highlighted by Historic England.

They will also help to improve the appearance of the buildings so they are appropriate to the conservation area, and to investigate funding for improvements and will act as an advisor to the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council town team.

The proposal is to employ the conservation enforcement officer for a period of 15 months.

Mrs Moore said: “I think that as a town we have reached the stage where we are turning things around.

“When you begin to make improvements it has a real snowball effect. If the town is more vibrant people feel less negative and that there is a chance for improvement. “ A decision on whether to allocate the funds will be made at a Weymouth and Portland Borough Council management committee meeting today.

Shopkeepers say town centre revamp is 'long overdue'

Shopkeepers have told how Weymouth town centre ‘is long overdue’ a revamp.

Peter Healey of Howley’s Toymaster store on Frederick Place said some of the signs are outdated, and he highlighted that 2017 calendars promoting events are still on display around the town centre.

*Peter Healey with one of the out of date calendars

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He said signs include directions to the Weymouth Timewalk which closed in 2010. 

Mr Healey added: “We are very keen and interested to see improvement and development for the town centre. Anything to make the town better will benefit us.

“If you look at other towns, they have fantastic maps and calendars and all the public amenities are detailed and laid out in a way that is easy to understand.

“So many people come here on holiday and they will look for signs, so if signs are wrong they wont be very happy.”

Karl Moore of Razmatazz said: “It is long overdue and can only be a good thing.”

Roma Pye of Ladybirds said: “It all needs updating. We have such a lovely town and beach and people love Weymouth. It is the ideal time of year to make improvements.”

Claudia Moore of Weymouth BID explained that the outdated calendars on display around the town will  likely be updated at the end of this week.  She added that she is keen to see the signs for the old ferry terminal removed near the Pavilion, as well as the other incorrect signs around the town.

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