DETAILS have been revealed on how the Enterprising Minehead project will spend £500,000 to rejuvenate the town's seafront.

A new business plan shows a breakdown of how the money will be spent on three key aims:

  • To support skills development in the hospitality sector
  • To redevelop Minehead's mile-long Esplanade to create 'an attractive dynamic public space'
  • To develop a Business Improvement District (BID), giving local businesses a say in projects and marketing to improve the town centre's viability.

Under the first aim, the key proposal is to create a Hospitality and Tourism Academy which will initially take the form of a group of partners and employers coming together to create a Centre of Excellence.

This will account for £96,000 of the funding Part of this will be the Step Into Industry programme aimed at raising awareness of tourism and hospitality career opportunities for students from Years 9 to 13.

The seafront improvements include to landscaping the eastern Esplanade creating a series of mounded grass areas which will 'replace the underwhelming tarmac surface'; create an Esplanade 'brand' with a colour and material palette to help tie in all 'streetscape elements' like bins and signage.

There are also plans for pavement art, contributions toward play equipment including a splash pad, installing 41 new benches, and introduce feature lighting with the help of a local artist.

The feature lighting is expected to cost £89,000, while there is also £31,500 set aside for the Edwardian seafront shelters, £24,000 toward a kiosk and tourist information, £48,000 for the replacement of benches and £65,000 for play equipment.

Meanwhile the BID, if backed by the majority of town centre traders, would put a 1.5 per cent levy and generate £110k a year toward town events and marketing.

To view the full plans visit the council's website here.