I WAS absolutely delighted to read Amy Cole’s report under the heading “Bid for £25m Funding” in a recent Gazette (August 1).

I wish to personally congratulate Cllr Farbahi and the senior council officers, Nick Bryant and Kate Murdock, together with the County Gazette for their foresight and perseverance.

Taunton is now among three councils in the South West to have been shortlisted to receive initial funding to put together a business case.

Should the council be successful with the full business case, then we could see £50m of investment funding (including £25m of council match funding) in projects such as Coal Orchard, the Firepool regeneration project and the pedestrianisation of Taunton town centre, which will undoubtedly increase the much-needed footfall to our County Town.

Over the last four years I have worked together with Cllr Farbahi on a number of projects. For example, we hosted the successful “Great Plastics Debate” at Queen’s College, that looked at single use plastics and their adverse effect on the environment.

We also set up a council project looking into affordable employment land and the creation of a High Tech Innovation Centre.

These projects could bring high quality jobs to our area to complement our Garden Town Status and the opportunities that lie ahead will help future proof the council’s investment in the medium to long term.

READ MORE: Ambitious proposal for glass roof over Taunton High Street

I have witnessed his determination to see Taunton benefitting from all sources of funding revenues to attract growth sectors and investments.

I am sure the new Somerset West and Taunton Council will grasp these opportunities and build on them, so that our County Town and district will deservedly be amongst the best places in the South West for investment in business and job opportunities, as well as providing one of the best places to live by embracing our Garden Town Status.

Norton Fitzwarren