Leader of Trowbridge Town Council, Councillor Stewart Palmen, shares his views and thoughts on the year ahead . . .

I am looking forward to what 2021 has to offer for Trowbridge! I believe it will be a year that sees the town moving forward into a “new improved normal” when this dreadful Covid-19 virus is finally controlled and contained.

In 2021 we will see the Town come back to life! The Civic will reopen, and events will start to take place once again. One thing we expect to see is an increase in its use as a Wedding Venue, as a lot of weddings have had to be postponed since March 2020. Let’s hope that there will be plenty to celebrate!

The Weavers Market is determined to be back every second Saturday from May through to October, and we are hoping to be able to stage events in the park. The Town Hall and other venues will start to put on events and live music will resurface in venues!

The Town Council also plan to start work on our 3G pitch at Doric Park (Trowbridge Rugby Club) providing a great resource for the future for local football and rugby teams. The Neighbourhood Services Team will also continue their brilliant work, keeping the town clean and weed-free. Let’s hope for a good summer, with hanging baskets helping to make Trowbridge look superb.

Active Trowbridge will continue to work with local schools as much as Covid-19restrictions will allow, and also to help keep Trowbridge healthy. The town’s refurbished Museum is set to reopen in March and I am sure that everyone will be so excited to see the new floor and additional facilities fully utilised. There has been so much work going on behind the scenes there!

Some great news received in late December concerned the town’s having been awarded £16.3 million from the government’s Future High Streets Fund. This money will finance projects Wiltshire Council have been developing for Trowbridge, and the Town Council looks forward to working closely with Wiltshire Council to help make best use of this funding. The projects include:

  • The pedestrianisation of Market Street and Wicker Hill
  • Work on Trowbridge Town Hall to refurbish and open up the original ballroom and make the building more of a resource and focal point for the town
  • Improving the River Biss to make the most of this great natural and environmental feature of the town
  • A new market building behind the old market façade (formerly the Isaac Pitman)
  • Redevelopment of Castle Place to potentially include a leisure and wellbeing centre.

I’m pleased to be able to say that there will be a full public consultation on this project. Additionally, tight timescales will ensure that this does not become a long and drawn-out process.

May 2021 will also see local elections across the nation, with all Trowbridge Council Wards being contested. I am looking forward (if re-elected!) to working with the successful candidates and to reviewing the Town Council’s strategy with a view to moving forward. Our town’s future is looking bright, and I am looking forward to seeing good progress in 2021! A Happy New Year to you all . . .