A New Approach for Bridgwater Town Centre
We are a wonderfully diverse town with pockets of creativity, with areas of innovation and with high skilled educational opportunities available for our young, not to mention our rich history which we can all get a small taste of from the Blake Museum. With our town ever changing and developing into an area of interest for people of many backgrounds, we often overlook what our town has to offer and how we can further build on it.
Our Town centre was once a vibrant, diverse market town bustling with activity with shops full to the brim but sadly, that’s not a fair description of our town today. That’s not just the case here in Bridgwater but all over the UK, where the internet has allowed us to shop quite conveniently, and often cheaply, online to the detriment of our high street. What we should be doing is thinking about ways in which we can adapt and become a vibrant town centre fit for a 21st century Bridgwater. We need to focus on, encourage and support independent businesses in our town from clothing to home décor and from cafes to bars. Shops which provide a unique experience with items you can’t always find online, and independent eateries to wind down and soak up the atmosphere of a delightfully diverse town.
We should look at what our town already has to offer and work in partnership with key organisations to offer opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs. We can work with creative organisations such as the Bridgwater Arts Centre to provide courses for our future artisan shop owners. We can work with Bridgwater College to provide essential training to ensure that our future entrepreneurs are equipped with the key business skills required to be successful. We can work with the Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce to provide crucial business mentoring, ensuring that start-ups get the all the support they need in the most challenging first months of their new venture. And our council should be at the forefront, facilitating a collaborative business support initiative, able to provide a financial support package for collaborative entrepreneurs willing to work together, to share costs and to making setting up shop in our town affordable, achievable and sustainable.