Work to create a new amphitheater in Yeovil has started as part of a multi-million euro program to improve the city centre.
South Somerset District Council has identified several areas of the town center for improvement as part of its flagship Yeovil Refresh scheme, which has received £9.75million from the government’s future high streets fund.
Work has now started on the Triangle area near Middle Street, where a new amphitheater will be created for the public to sit and perform.
The council also apologized for the delays and disruption in a separate area of the scheme, relating to Westminster Street.
Over the next few weeks, contractors from Wessex Water will dig the Triangle to reroute a water main, with benches and other street furniture temporarily removed.
The council will retain as many of these benches and other items as possible and recycle any components that cannot be reused in the program.
Once the water main and other utilities have been diverted, South West Highways (SWH – which recently completed improvements on Wine Street) will begin the main phase of construction.
This will include the following elements:
- An elevated stage with amphitheater seating – providing space for individuals to socialize, take a break from shopping and watch or partake in a range of entertainment.
- A large screen, as requested by the public in the initial consultation, to display promotions and highlights
- A focal water feature
- Natural stone paving and ornamental planting
- New trees
- An art feature co-created with community groups during coronavirus shutdowns
Councilor Peter Gubbins said: “It is fantastic to see work on the Triangle begin.
“This major area of the Yeovil Refresh project will greatly benefit downtown visitors, residents and business owners – providing space to socialize, entertain and promote businesses.
“The work will also significantly improve the appearance of this central city location, attracting more visitors to the area and improving people’s shopping experiences.”
Work on other elements of the Yeovil Refresh public realm improvements have come under criticism, with work on Westminster Street stalling after the original contractor, Midas Construction, came into operation in February.
Residents expressed frustration at the new contractor’s removal of existing Midas works as part of its site preparation, and were further exasperated after council revealed Wyndham Street elements would have to be postponed due to rising costs.
Council said completing work on Westminster Street was ‘a top priority’ to avoid further disruption to residents or businesses.