“CORNHILL could be Wellington’s Bath Place” – this is the hoped-for vision for the town’s historic street alley, says a senior figure promoting Wellington trade.
Ian Stock, chairman of Wellington Business Association, formerly Wellington Chamber of Commerce, told the County Gazette: “There’s real scope and potential here for Cornhill to ape Bath Place in Taunton.
“It’s an area that’s a bit run-down – it was damaged by fire in 2008 – and really does need care and attention. To see it revamped would be great for the town.”
Sharon Davis, who moved into Cornhill with her business 12 months ago, agrees.
“Cornhill has got oodles of potential”, says Sharon. “I just think it’s a shame it’s been left so long, and is in the situation it’s been now but it could be fab.”
Plans to open a Wetherspoon in Well-ington were given the thumbs-up by councillors in June after the pub giant applied to Taunton Deane Council for permission to convert the Grade II listed old Town Hall in Fore Street.
The redevelopment includes seating for more than 120 customers, incorporating a beer garden on the Cornhill side of the building – a move Sharon welcomes.
“If you look at some of the new Wetherspoons now they do them really beautifully,” she added. “I’m looking forward to Wetherspoons arriving because I think it’ll make the place look better.”
Taunton’s Bath Place, marketed as a “delightful” narrow street of cottages “mixed with an assortment of individual shops offering an amazing range of goods and services”, is located at the southern end of Taunton High Street.
Jo Ward, who owns independent booksellers Brendon Books in Bath Place, said: “It would be marvellous if Bath Place was emulated in Wellington.
“We’re still getting people coming down Bath Place who have only just discovered it – one person called it Taunton’s ‘Little Florence’ the other day.
“Visitors enjoy seeing independent shops, especially if they’re from out of town and they’re used to big shopping centres. They see Bath Place and feel like they’re stepping back in time – except the shops have modern things in them.”