Dorchester's town pump to get £200,000 makeover

Dorchester's town pump to get £200,000 makeover

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:45am 24th September 2019.

A £200,000-plus scheme to improve the area around Dorchester’s Town Pump at the top end of South Street will go out to tender.

It will be the final stage in a three-year process to improve the paving and lay out of the street and the town’s Walks.

Town councillors have been told that the area is considered the ‘historic centre’ of the town and that more should be made of the area which has been allowed to develop by what town clerk Adrian Stuart has described as ‘incremental creep.”

He said:

"It was never planned to appear and function the way it does today.

"As the acknowledged centre of the town the space offers the opportunity to act as a social hub, as a natural link to the cultural venues to the north of High West and High East Street with the Shire Hall, County Museum and Corn Exchange, and to more fully present and promote the town and its events programme."

Town pump in Dorchester
Town pump in Dorchester

Mr Stuart said the town council would need to work alongside Dorset Council, which owns most of the land, to achieve the project and would need to consult with people who use the area and the wider community.

Cllr Alistair Chisholm described the area as the heart of the town.

He said:

"It should be, and could be, an amazing place, but we need someone with imagination to deliver it."

South Street Dorchester top end by Town Pump

Mr Stuart said that the design would need to resolve the differing uses the area has  – as a place to sit, where some outdoor events are held, for bike parking, where local businesses put out their advertising boards and where the town Christmas tree is put up each year.

He said the area was adjacent to the daily stall market and needed to also be kept as part of the highway.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter