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Posted On: 15-02-2024
Posted In: Community

Following months of dedicated work, a ribbon has been cut to mark the completion of extensive improvements in Cullompton Town Centre aimed at creating a more vibrant and functional public space, bringing community members together.

Representatives from Mid Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Historic England, and Cullompton Town Council, as well as community members joined together to officially ‘open’ the new look Higher Bullring on Wednesday 14 February. The opening coincided with a wider event with both weekday and weekend market traders, as well as live music, entertainment and refreshments for visitors.

The transformation began on 24 July 2023, with a focus on enhancing the Higher Bullring’s historic setting, with a new square surrounding the war memorial. The project’s high-quality paving, benches, planters and cycle parking have created a visually appealing space designed for events and community activities to support the town centre economy.

The improvements form part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), a national project led by Historic England which aims to unlock the potential of High Streets across England, making them more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

Cullompton was one of only ten places in the southwest to receive funding. Historic England provided £1.1million, together with match funding from Mid Devon District Council, Devon County Council and Cullompton Town Council to deliver this project.

Councillor Steven Keable, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration at Mid Devon District Council, said:

“We are immensely proud of the improvement works that have enhanced the town’s heritage setting and the experience of its visitors.
“The Council is focussed on securing further investment in the town - with key priorities being the town centre relief road, as well as the development of a new junction and railway station.”

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said:

“This regeneration scheme has given this part of the town centre a very welcome lift while still retaining its valuable heritage. The impressive new layout of the Higher Bullring has created a much more usable public space for the local community and I'm sure it will be a popular and well used area. Hopefully this can help attract people to the town and provide a springboard for renewed economic growth in Cullompton.”

Rebecca Barrett, South West Regional Director at Historic England, said:

“It’s great to see the Higher Bullring restored as an attractive, welcoming public space at the heart of Cullompton. Thanks to everyone involved in this project, it will continue to play a role in people’s lives and livelihoods for many years to come.”

As well as the Higher Bullring public realm improvements, Cullompton HSHAZ has also delivered:

More information about the Cullompton High Street Heritage Action Zone is available on the Mid Devon District Council website.

Mid Devon District Council has also introduced ten complimentary short-stay parking spaces, available for up to two hours, at the Forge Way carpark in an effort to reinvigorate foot traffic on the High Street and provide vital support to local businesses.