Heritage initiative continues to breathe life into Weston town centre

7:25am - 06 October 2021

A second business in Weston-super-Mare is set to bring their frontage back to its roots through the Heritage Action Zone’s Shopfront Enhancement Scheme.

The Fork ‘n’ Ale Taproom and Kitchen, an independent restaurant, bar, and music venue based in Weston’s town centre, will be:

  • restoring the frontage of their building to its original façade
  • re-instating the original stained-glass windows
  • bringing back to life a parapet that was lost in the early 1980s

The Grade II listed building was constructed in the mid-19th Century and has a history of providing ale to locals, with many identities including the Bristol and Exeter, The Town Crier and Bonds.

Andrew Bidmead, Landlord of the Fork ‘n’ Ale, said: “This building has played a key part in Weston’s history and community and I’m honoured to be able to bring it back to what it looked like in the 19th Century, with the support of the owners of the building Mark and Martin from Cabot Trustees Ltd, Historic England and North Somerset Council.”

Funded by Historic England, the shopfront enhancement scheme is open to priority properties within the High Street Heritage Action Zone in Weston.

Councillor Mark Canniford, Executive Member for Business, Economy and Employment at North Somerset Council, said: “There’s huge potential for economic growth in Weston as more investment is made into heritage and conservation as part of our Placemaking Strategy.

“The work being done in the town centre around the shopfront enhancement grant, with the stunning recent renovation of Walker and Ling, a high street department store, is improving the appearance of the town centre which is encouraging more footfall and trade.

“It’s fantastic news that another business owner is taking advantage of the scheme and I look forward to seeing more businesses follow suit.”

Work on the Fork ‘n’ Ale will start at the beginning of 2022 and is expected to take approximately 6 weeks.

Weston is both a Heritage Action Zone and a High Street Heritage Action Zone.

Additional shopfront enhancements will be developed in Weston during 2022.

For more information, visit the council’s Heritage Action Zone page.