THE Government has awarded nearly £20million for the Toneworks and Tonedale project.

The former Somerset West and Taunton Council submitted bids to Round 1 and 2 of the Levelling Up Fund, from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Communities.

A total of £19,987,663 will provide an opportunity for Somerset Council, working in partnership with stakeholders and the community, to transform and sustainably regenerate the nationally significant heritage site at Toneworks and enhance associated land for community use.

The Toneworks site, which is owned by Somerset Council, has already received funding from DCMS/Historic England from the Heritage Stimulus and Covid Cultural Recovery Fund for repairs since its acquisition in 2020. This has allowed decontamination, structural repairs, and vital stabilisation to the most vulnerable parts of the site.

Over summer and autumn of 2023, Somerset Council has welcomed over 300 local people into the site on guided tours to offer a glimpse of the works that have been achieved to date.

The ambitious plan for Tonedale will restore and save a nationally important heritage site and historic landmark.

Cllr Ros Wyke, Somerset Council lead member for economy, planning and assets, said: “We are extremely pleased that the importance of heritage of Wellington has been recognised, after the disappointment of Rounds 1 and 2.”

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said: "I am absolutely thrilled that the Government have just announced that nearly £20million has been provisionally awarded for our application to the Levelling up Fund.

"This ambitious plan will restore and save nationally important heritage sites and much-loved historic landmarks.

"I was disappointed at the beginning of this year that the application was unsuccessful in a previous funding round and I have been engaging with Ministers since then, making the case for this much-needed investment.

"I am so pleased that this has been addressed today with this announcement, bringing with it a range of economic opportunities.

"This is a perfect demonstration that the Government is fully committed to levelling up all parts of the country, including the South West.

"Coming hot on the heels of the Wellington Station announcement and my local campaign to complete the restoration of the Wellington Monument, this will be another huge boost to the town.”