Somerset Set To Go Ahead With Taunton Redevelopment
Somerset County Cricket Club is pleased to announce that the redevelopment of the County Ground will begin in earnest on Thursday 17th January.
The first phase of the redevelopment will provide excellent new facilities for the cricket club and for Taunton, and is being spearheaded by Pegasus Retirement Homes Plc. There will be 65 luxury apartments for the over 55s, many with views over the cricket ground. Additionally there will be a new public space for the people of Taunton between the County Ground, the Brewhouse Theatre and the River Tone which will be fronted by a restaurant and shops. The cricket club will benefit from 3 new spectator stands capable of seating nearly 3,000 spectators as well as a new scoreboard and facilities for ground staff. The spectator stands are due for completion in mid August, with the apartments due for completion in March 2009.
Somerset CCC has been planning a redevelopment of the site for 5 years and has been lead by Somerset CCC Chairman Giles Clarke, who has now moved on to become Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board. His successor, Andy Nash, paid tribute to the work of Mr Clarke, and also the other partners involved in the scheme
“It has taken a great deal of work and assistance from partners such as the South West Regional Development Agency, Taunton Deane Borough Council and Project Taunton to get to the start date, and we are very grateful for their assistance.
Somerset Cricket Club Chief Executive Richard Gould stated, "With the final hurdles having now been cleared the redevelopment can begin in earnest. This is an exciting time for Somerset Cricket Club and for Taunton. The development by Pegasus will represent a benchmark for years to come as to how sports clubs can positively contribute to the communities in which they operate by providing a high quality scheme for residential, business and leisure use. We are very grateful for the input from Pegasus Retirement Homes plc that has allowed this project come to fruition.”
Peter F Askew, Chief Executive at Pegasus Retirement Homes, said: "This has been an incredibly exciting project from the start and we welcome news that work can now begin on-site. The project is costing Pegasus in the region of £15m and, as well as new facilities for Somerset Cricket Club, will provide a superb centrally-located luxury development of 65 apartments for the active retired. Pegasus' apartments will have fantastic views of the cricket ground and River Tone and, with more than 16,000 over-60s living in Taunton, will provide much-needed purpose-built retirement property in the area.
The start of demolition on Thursday also marks the commencement of Project Taunton, which is working to regenerate and bring Taunton to its full potential. We're very pleased to be involved in such a landmark project."
© Somerset CCC
Ian Franklin, Project Director of Project Taunton, said: “The new development at the cricket ground heralds the beginning of the town’s regeneration and is a huge step forward for Project Taunton. Somerset County Cricket Club is part of the proposed new Cultural Quarter, an area that extends along the River Tone from Priory Bridge and includes the Brewhouse Theatre, Coal Orchard, the Museum of Somerset and Castle Green. Attention will be refocused on the River Tone which will be hugely improved by attractive landscaping, sympathetic new developments and better access by footpaths and cycle routes.
“The completed Cultural Quarter will provide the town with a really interesting mix of independent shops, cafes, workshops and apartments all linked by riverside walks and open spaces. We are looking to bring back life, colour and character to the area, make the most of its rich heritage and create a place where people want to live, work and relax.”