£750,000 improvement works start at key Torbay sites

An artist's impressions of what Upton Park could look like.

An artist's impressions of what Upton Park could look like. - Credit: Torbay Council

New state-of-the-art lighting has been unveiled and work has started as part of a £750,000 programme of projects to revamp key sites in Torquay.

A video showing a simulation of the new festoon lighting at Torquay Prom has been unveiled and diggers have started work on the new banjo path at Princess Gardens and resurfacing of the football and netball courts is underway at Upton Park.

Three projects which have all been developed from the previously consulted and developed Masterplans for each site are being delivered over the next few months using £750,000 accelerated funding from the Towns Fund for Torquay’s Town Deal.

These projects will help to revitalise the town centre and surrounding areas, creating spaces for people to thrive.

The projects are led Torbay Council, with the works being managed by TDA and delivered by SWISCo.

As part of the first phase of Torquay’s Town Investment Plan, the projects will create an improved experience for people using these spaces and are intended to encourage footfall to these locations.

The wider investment plan sets out how the town will use the Towns Fund to support long term economic and productivity growth.

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Councillor Darren Cowell, deputy leader of Torbay Council, said: “The video showing what the new lighting will look like gives us an exciting glimpse of how this area will look in the very near future, while it is also excellent news that work has begun at Princess Gardens to prepare the banjo area for a new event space.”

Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, tourism and housing, said: “The three projects are progressing well.

"Tree works and resurfacing at Upton Park is well underway and we anticipate works to start on Royal Terrace Gardens in the next few weeks.

"Each project within the investment plan will drive forward a better experience in the town centre, provide a better mix of uses, and create a place where people enjoy spending their time.”

Investment in Upton Park which has been developed from the previously consulted Masterplan for the park will bring a variety of social benefits to the community and ensure residents and visitors are able to make best use of the location.

The tree works will increase light levels, sightlines and enhance the sense of space within the park.

Trees which are being removed will be replaced with a replanting scheme to change the species diversity and age structure, whilst increasing wildlife potential.

Works to bring the netball facility back into use have started, and further enhancements of the existing sports facilities.

The parks lighting is to be upgraded to a LED system which will further help improve the parks amenities and help with a sense of space and pride in the park. Improvements to footpaths and fencing is underway, improving access and enhancing amenities and links through and within the space.

Investment in Royal Terrace Gardens will include improving the illuminations along the seafront with more creative lighting year-round.

By linking Royal Terrace Gardens with Abbey Gardens and Princess Gardens the project will encourage more people to connect with the seafront, visit different locations and offer a boost to night-time economy.

Vince Flower, chairman of the Town Board, said: “By delivering these projects at pace we will see early outcomes from the Town Deal funding.

"This is the first phase of the Town Investment Plan, with longer term objectives including additional private and public sector investment, and new jobs.

"The Town Board is excited to see our ambitious plan to revitalise and regenerate the town move forward.”

The wider Town Investment Plan targets challenges at key locations, including Torquay Pavilion, and improving transport connections by supporting the Edginswell Rail station. The total development cost of the projects in the Town Investment Plan is an estimated £135 million.

The start of these projects comes at an exciting time for Torbay, with a range of multi-million pound projects coming online.

These include £21.9m from the Government for Torquay Towns Fund, plus £13.36m announced by the Government last month for the Future High Streets Fund for Paignton.

This is in addition to a brand new ‘Torquay Gateway’ train station announced for Edginswell area, with £7.8m awarded from Network Rail and Department for Transport for its development.

There are also plans to enhance Brixham in line with the Brixham Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan, with key areas earmarked including harbour regeneration and Brixham town centre car park redevelopment.