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Competition: Chard High Street, Somerset

Chard Guildhall, Somerset
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South Somerset District Council (SSDC) is seeking a design team for a public realm overhaul of Chard High Street

The team selected for the estimated £50,000-to-£60,000 contract will draw up plans from RIBA Stages 3-4 for improvements to four key areas within the historic town, which is receiving £2 million in funding from Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone programme.

The project aims to create an ‘attractive, engaging and vibrant’ town centre environment by upgrading Boden Street Junction, Holyrood Street, the Guildhall and Chard Eastern Gateway. Initial public realm strategy has already been completed by Element Urbanism and Hydrock.

According to the brief: ‘In 2019, Element Urbanism and Hydrock were commissioned to produce a public realm strategy for SSDC. The public realm improvements which would be delivered through use of the strategy are seen as key infrastructure supporting the overall regeneration and transformation of the town centre. The improvements support the core of the town and need to create a clear style for Chard that supports the economy of the town centre.

‘The public realm strategy identified right specific project areas. The public realm schemes as a whole will deliver comprehensive improvements to support the centre of Chard. The availability of funding means that the improvements will need to be phased. Following a successful bid to Historic England for the High Street Heritage Action Zone fund, SSDC commissioned a design team to produce scheme designs for four of the specific project areas that reaffirmed the principles established at the strategy stage to RIBA 3. SSDC wishes to commence the detailed design to RIBA 4 of four of these project areas to provide basis for delivery.’

Chard is a small town of around 12,000, located at the southernmost edge of Somerset. The settlement hosts several large industrial employers, including a food processing plant and a factory producing Henry vacuum cleaners.

The latest project is part of ambitious plans by South Somerset District Council to regenerate Chard and boost economic activity within the wider area. Key aims include reconfiguring parking facilities, enhancing public realm and introducing new wayfinding.

Element Urbanism and Hydrock were selected to create a public realm strategy for Chard last year following an open call for applications. Bids for the latest role will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on cost.

The deadline for applications is 21 June.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Brendan Downes
South Somerset District Council
The Council Office
Brympton Way
BA20 2HT

Tel: +44 1935462076
Email: brendan.downes@southsomerset.gov.uk

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