Following the lifting of Covid restrictions the Council has been considering how to support the centre of Street and local businesses using grant funding where possible.
The improvement of the Library Garden and mural has been considered in recent months. It is currently in a poor condition and it was felt that if it was refurbished it would give a real lift to Street and benefit residents, visitors and local businesses. A new mural was planned to be funded through a Creative Mendip grant which required the project to be completed by 31st March 2022. It was then discovered that before this work could be carried out substantial repairs would be needed to the back wall and 2 pavilions. The Library Trust agreed to the work being carried out and it was hoped to fund the entire project through grants. Tenders were sought for the repairs and a set cost for the mural agreed with a representative of local artists. The total project including power and lighting when events are held and 2 new seats will cost around £41,500 and grants of £25,000 have been secured together with a further £5,000 from the Council. It was hoped to fund the remaining £11,500 through another grant but unfortunately the criteria could not be met. The Library Trust will need to spend a considerable sum on internal alterations to the Library building (relocate Library services back to original 1924 building and support development of building for further uses was in the top 5 voted ideas in the Summer survey). The Trust can therefore not fund the shortfall for the Garden.
The Council will be considering this matter again at a meeting on 13th October from 6 p.m. in the Parish Rooms and residents are welcome to submit their views on this to the Clerk by email to firstname.lastname@example.org The meeting will be open to the public but numbers may need to be limited if a large number of people wish to attend.
The Council has funding available to meet the £11,500 shortfall for the project from other budgets not spent this year and the land is open to the public although it is the responsibility of the Library Trust. The advantages of carrying out the work would be:
- the improvement of a central area of Street, close to local businesses, community facilities including the Community Centre, bus stops and car parks and support the vibrant centre and encourage more people to it
- provision of seats in an attractive space frequently used by many people to enjoy refreshments and chat to others
- create a good space with power for speakers etc. and lighting in which to hold a programme of large and smaller community events including to celebrate Somerset Day and Christmas.
- give a huge boost to Street as a whole and create a buzz through the delivery of a new vibrant mural.
Cllr. Laura Wolfers, Chair of Street Parish Council