Monday, 22 October 2007

Second information evening to show latest thinking on New Horizons project

AN information event on the £50 million New Horizons project in Minehead is being held at West Somerset Community College on Thursday, November 1, between 5 pm and 7 pm.
New Horizons aims to revolutionise learning, leisure, cultural, business, and health facilities for the people of West Somerset by providing a new community hospital, skills and enterprise centre, sports and leisure centre, and replacement all-weather sports facilities.
It will also provide 5.3 acres of housing, 30 per cent of which will be affordable housing for local people to rent or buy.
District council deputy leader Councillor Simon Stokes said: “Public consultation has been key to getting this fantastic project right for local people.
“We have been delighted by the positive feedback and we have arranged further events so that residents can come along and see the latest plans.”
The information evening will feature displays and the opportunity to talk to representatives from the delivering partnership about:
  • Community Hospital
  • Skills and Enterprise Centre
  • Rural Skills Centre
  • Sports, Leisure and Learning Facilities
  • Housing provision and affordable housing

Aedas, the project’s architect and lead consultant, has designed the masterplan to accommodate the facilities on the site off Seaward Way, in Minehead, with the exception of the rural skills centre, which will be located on land below Conygar Tower, at Dunster.
The plans have been submitted to the district council and will go to the planning committee for a decision before Christmas.
College principal Nick Swann, representing all parties, said: “Our last open evening was really successful and this is a further chance for local people to come along for an update and to see how all the elements work together.
“We will make the displays as informative and interactive as possible so that people can really get an idea of the benefits the scheme will bring to West Somerset.
“There will be opportunities to ask questions and to feed back views and suggestions. We have been delighted with the support the project has received so far.
“Following sustained efforts to get New Horizons off the ground, we are very pleased with the rate of recent developments.
“Robust business planning must now be completed to map out how the leisure centre part of the scheme can be operated in the most efficient way to achieve best value.”
Somerset Primary Care Trust capital project director Simon Corrick said: “The development of the New Horizons project and new community hospital for Minehead is an exciting and innovative initiative and one which will benefit the whole community.
“Minehead Hospital will be the second of four new community hospitals built by Somerset PCT, and with finance already secured to pay for its development, tendering and design work will be able to progress in line with plans for construction to start in 2008.”
New Horizons is being delivered by a partnership of West Somerset Council, Somerset County Council, Somerset Primary Care Trust, and the West Somerset Community College.
More information on the project is available on West Somerset Council’s website at

  • Our image above shows the New Horizons masterplan. The buildings are colour coded: Orange - community hospital; pink - skills and enterprise centre; blue - sports and leisure centre; yellow - housing; red - performing arts centre (phase two). Image submitted.

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