WORK is still set to start before the end of the year on developing the former livestock market site in Taunton -despite the lockdown.

Efforts have continued on a planning application for Firepool, which has been disused since the final cattle market there in January 2008.

Cllr Mike Rigby, portfolio holder for planning at landowner Somerset West and Taunton Council, expects the application to be made by the end of the summer.

The multi-million pound project is likely to include a cinema, hotel, multi-purpose venue, an innovation centre, shops and homes.

Cllr Rigby said: "Somerset West and Taunton Council have continued to plough on with work on the Local Development Order - (the planning application) - throughout the lockdown period and have made excellent progress towards the anticipated submission date at the end of this summer.

"We then expect to receive consent before the end of the year, by which time we will have made a substantive start on site.

"As we emerge from lockdown and the economic damage that it has caused, SWT Council intends to send a powerful message of confidence in our district with a tangible commencement at Firepool and other major projects to come."