Firstly, I hope this newsletter finds you, your family, and your colleagues safe and healthy. I would also like to thank the Gravity team and our partners, who, under unusual working conditions, have done some exceptional work and achieved great things. I would particularly like to pay my gratitude to the 37 Club for providing over 7,000 much-needed meals to the local community.
It’s exactly a year since we had our Ground Breaking event at Gravity; I believe the last two months have been some of the busiest. The Link Road and landscaping bund is well underway which I am sure the residents will be pleased about.
I also want to bring to your attention our newly launched video on Gravity, which you can watch here.
The Strategic Design Code and Landscape Masterplan are now with the council for consideration. Gravity is also working with the District Council to explore a new planning consent called a Local Development Order that seeks to create employment but also improves climate action and addresses broader sustainable development goals. This is going to be key to drive forward the strategic response to economic renewal and job creation.
Thank you to all those who contributed to the consultation event on the Village Enhancement Scheme. We will be submitting a full planning application on this as soon as possible.
I recently had the pleasure of discussing what Gravity means to the South West with MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Ian Liddell-Grainger. You can watch the full interview here, including Mr. Liddell-Grainger’s response when I ask him what he would say to entice Mr. Elon Musk to Gravity!
Keeping open levels of communication is top of our list, and I am pleased to announce that we are re-instating our Drop-In sessions with the next one on the 8th July. These sessions are open to all, alternatively, do email us any queries if you wish to keep in touch from home.
We are anticipating a busy summer as we work with the Government department Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department of International Trade (DIT), and a plethora of entities in promoting the SW as vital in terms of strategic economic renewal post-Covid 19. Our work with BEIS will be centered on supporting the South West’s aim to become the UK’s hub for clean and inclusive growth. We will look at all opportunities to enable this, from rail restoration through to improving digital connectivity, exploring free port zone, through to targeting sectors and occupiers that would be a perfect fit and create higher-value job opportunities into the future.
I look forward to updating you on our progress in our September newsletter.
Thank you for your own going support, and please keep safe.
Martin Bellamy, Chairman
Latest Gravity News
Gravity Q&A drop-in session
Gravity will be restarting the Q&A community drop-in sessions. These events are open to all, with the appropriate social distancing, so if you have any questions or want to know more about our project.
Please join us – you do not need to register in advance.
3 – 7pm
The 37 Club (TA7 8AD)
Link Road Update
A record-breaking Spring has kept the team ahead of schedule on the landscape bund, so far 60,000 tonnes of recycled blast mound material has been transported from the site to the Link Road. When complete, the landscape bund will act as a noise and visual barrier between activity on the Link Road and the local community.
The next step will be to submit plans to the council for the Village Enhancement Scheme to provide important links between Gravity and the two villages. Thank you to everyone that contributed to make this such a collaborative process and inform the design. This is very much appreciated. Plans should be submitted end of June/ early July.
Strategic Design Code & Landscape Masterplan
Already submitted to the council to discharge ‘site-wide’ planning conditions, these strategy documents take us a significant step forward in thinking through and communicating our ambition for clean growth and turning this into design guidance on which further planning applications will be assessed. These documents are available on the Council’s web site.
There is a good deal of work underway from; ecological surveys to keep our baseline up to date, crafting our clean growth principles and priorities, to initiating a digital masterplan and a refreshed transport strategy. We look forward to sharing our progress in our next newsletter.
Community Meal Delivery Service
With the incredible support of volunteers from The 37 Club, Woolavington & Puriton Parish Councils and the wider community, Gravity established a food delivery service. Its aim was to reach those locally who were most in need during self-isolation.
Since the service was set up, the team has served over 7,000 meals to the communities of Woolavington and Puriton.
The 37 Club has been inundated with heartfelt messages of gratitude from residents who have relied on this service.
We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has enabled us to deliver these meals and support the local communities. Feats like this are achieved collectively as a community, one that Gravity is proud to be a part of.
Heritage Film – Coming Soon
Unique memories of the Royal Ordnance Factory Bridgwater have been captured in an upcoming short film produced in collaboration between Sedgemoor District Council, South West Heritage Trust and Somerset Film. We look forward to sharing the film.
Gravity in the media
Since our last newsletter in April, Gravity has appeared across several media outlets including BBC Radio Somerset, The Times, The Driving Supplement of the Sunday Times and Property Week. It has been a great few months for investment in the South West and drawing attention to the potential of the region
To read the full articles visit www.thisisgravity.co.uk/resources
Developing the Wetsern Gateway
Gravity’s Director – Planning and Economic Development, Claire Pearce, recently participated in a panel discussion hosted by The Built Environment Network. The webinar focused on the challenges and opportunities faced in delivery the Western Gateway – the new proposed powerhouse forming a collaborative approach between the West of England and South Wales.
Whist being located in the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership area, the Sedgemoor economy is closely aligned and functionally integrated with the Bath/ Bristol economy, and emerging opportunities relating to Free Port Zones, rail restoration and research into digital connectivity, will serve to build and strengthen relationships for example between Gravity and the airport, port and Bristol University.