RESIDENTS in Burnham-on-Sea could soon see a dramatic change to the seafront after two ambitious projects to improve the town’s esplanade were revealed.

Sedgemoor District Council has announced it is investing £55,000 to carry out improvement works to shelters and facilities along the esplanade.

The works, which are set to start at the end of June, will see shelters along the esplanade repaired and repainted and toilets, showers and communal facilities replaced.

It comes as Burnham and Highbridge Town Council launched Burnham Evolution, which could see new attractions and enhancements on the town’s esplanade and The Princess Theatre and Arts Centre refurbished.

The projects represent the first improvements to the town’s esplanade since the 1980s, when the sea wall and shelters were built.

Tatiana Cant, town clerk for Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, said the council is preparing a funding bid for the project and is applying for grants from the Hinkley Community Impact Mitigation Fund and from the Coastal Communities Fund.

“The project aims to transform the seafront by improving the quality and range of facilities and opportunities to increase use of the seafront and town centre by those living in, working in and visiting the town. It will also provide a boost for the local economy and refurbish the Princess Theatre which is already well used by the community,” Ms Cant said.

“The physical structure of the sea wall and esplanade will not change but the project will enhance the visual appearance and make it much more attractive to visitors and residents, as well as providing fun activities for children.”

Since the plans were unveiled at last month’s eat:Burnham festival, Ms Cant says the council has received more than 200 responses from residents.

She said district council plans for improvement works on the esplanade are ‘completely separate’ from the town council’s project and says residents have been confused after Sedgemoor’s announcement last week.

“These essential works are due to the poor current state of the shelters. Sedgemoor is doing the bare minimum as, hopefully, the town council will be successful with the Burnham Evolution funding bid and will able to replace them next year,” she added.

Resident Linda Britton is pleased the councils are revamping the seafront after describing it as “sad looking” last month.

“Its good to see the council is planning to revamp the seafront, I hope they spend the money wisely and don’t waste it on silly things,” Linda said.

“I know that the town council is working on a new project for the seafront and I submitted a form with my views for the Burnham Evolution Project.

“I would love to see a park and ride land train from the Haven Holiday village or Apex park to the sea front and some deck chairs, crazy golf and some colour on the seafront.”

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Councillor for Highbridge and Burnham South, said he fully supports the plans and thinks they will ‘revitalise’ the town.

“There is no cure for all of the problems in Burnham-on-Sea but both projects I think will help Burnham in the future,” he said.

“A number of residents have already put their views to the town council and I hope they will take them into consideration and make the best facilities possible.”