Heritage Action Zone

Heritage Open Days 2021

Heritage Open Days returns from 10 to 19 September.

Heritage sites across Weston are getting ready to open their doors, providing you an opportunity to discover the impressive, mysterious buildings and cultural heritage of Weston. 

The full list of free events can be found in the Heritage Open Days brochure. 

Blue Plaque tour

Weston-super-Mare has many commemorative blue plaques. These cover figures such as:

  • Capt George Fiott Day VC - Crimean hero who lived on Claremont Crescent
  • Kathleen Thomas - the first person to swim across the channel from Penarth to Weston in just seven and a half hours in 1927, at the age of 21.

Weston Town Council has put together a blue plaque map for Weston. 

Heritage Action Zone

There are two Heritage Action Zones (HAZ) in Weston Town Centre, funded by Historic England.

The zones were created following a £6m investment from Historic England. They aim to unlock potential in areas that are rich in heritage. We want to bring historic places back to life to attract residents, tourists, businesses and investors, and create economic growth.

The focus of a heritage action zone includes:

  • bringing buildings back into use as quality housing
  • developing clear heritage routes within the town centre to enhance existing trails through the town to the beach and train station
  • opening up new pedestrian access to Weston Museum, Town Square and the seafront
  • improving shop fronts and signage in the town centre.

Great Weston Conservation Area

In 2017 Weston town centre was awarded Heritage Action Zone status.  This status allows access to over £600,000 of funding until September 2022.

The Great Conservation Area stretches from Birnbeck Pier to Royal Sands, including the town centre of Weston, focusing on:

  • developing a new conservation area for Weston
    • The Great Weston Conservation Area was adopted in December 2018
  • developing a shopfront design guide policy for North Somerset, which was adopted as a supplementary planning document in September 2019
  • developing clear heritage walks within the town centre to enhance existing trails through the town to the beach and train station
  • restoration and improvement of shopfronts and signage in the town centre
  • opening new pedestrian access to the Town Centre and the seafront
  • creating a programme of public engagement projects including ‘Know Your Place, and the development of a local listing policy and programme of work

High Street Heritage programme

The new programme area in Weston is in addition, and separate to, the existing Heritage Action Zone. In 2020 Weston was successful in gaining £1.1 million from Historic England for this work. The project will run until March 2024.

The focus of the high street zone will include:

  • community engagement - to engage communities with the heritage of Weston through volunteering and stakeholder initiatives
  • restoration and repair of original features in historic buildings
  • a comprehensive public realm scheme to enhance Station Road, Walliscote Road and Alexandra Parade
  • development and management of a shop front enhancement grants scheme, improving the exterior of retail units
  • funding the development of training opportunities in traditional heritage conversation skills
  • a cultural programme in partnership with Culture Weston

Shop front design guide

The shopfront design guide was produced with support from Historic England. It sets out best practice and policies to improve the quality, historic features and appearance of local streets. These improvements will make a positive impact on the retail and visitor experience.

The guide is now available for home and business owners. If you are in the Great Weston zone area, grant opportunities are available.

Weston heritage walks

Weston has beautiful heritage walks, steeped in history. Enjoy the architecture and history and don't forget to look up.