News 1 October 2015
Cannabis has been found growing in a High Street shop in Nailsea. The landlord of Explodium Fireworks called police when he discovered the plants growing in the shop. Click HERE for full story
Nailsea winners and losers
Nailsea town centre which includes Crown Glass shopping centre and the High Street is one of the best in Britain.
In a nationwide competition Nailsea has been named as one of the country’s best high streets in the annual Great British High Street competition.
The shopping centre and High Street were named in the top five of the ‘village’ category, narrowly missing out on going through to the public vote to decide the winner.
Out of 230 communities judged it named a top five in seven categories.
Nailsea made the top five in the village category. These were:
Brigg - a small market town in north Lincolnshire with a population of approximately 5,000 and average house price £140,941;
Earl Shilton – a small town in Leicestershire, pop 9,000 ahp £153,331;
Nailsea – a North Somerset commuter town, pop 16,000 ahp £275,132;
Twyford - a large Berkshire village, pop 7,000 ahp £389,664; and
West Kilbride - a village in north Ayrshire, Scotland – 40 miles from the birthplace of North Somerset MP Liam Fox at East Kilbride – with a pop 4,000 ahp £177,445.
But Nailsea didn’t make the top three and will not be subjected to a public online vote. The category finalists are:
City: A Bradford’s North Parade; B Mill Road, Cambridge; and C St Giles Street, Northampton.
Town Centre: A Altrincham; B Rotherham; and C Tamworth.
Market Town: A Chipping Norton; B Helmsley; and C Colne.
Coastal Community: A Prestatyn; B Bognor Regis; and C Amble.
Local Centre: A Bishy Road; B Hoole; and C Bath Place, Taunton.
Village: A Brigg; B West Kilbride; and CTwyford.
London: A Raynes Park; B Roman Road and C Pitshanger Lane, Ealing.
Backed by the Department for Communities and Local Government the Great British High Street supports those working to revive, adapt and diversify high streets.
It is a not-for-profit and government funded organisation which aims to provide resources for high street regeneration and celebrate innovative work going on in high streets across Britain.
Crown Glass shopping centre manager Charlotte Jarrett said: “Being named in the top five is a tremendous accolade.”
Between now and November people can vote for one of the top three finalists in each of the seven categories for free by clicking HERE or on its social media Facebook page.
Winners will get a share of prize pot worth £80,000 including expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce – the Digital Garage on Tour – for 100 of their shops, bars and restaurants.
High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said: “We had a record amount of high-quality entries to this year’s competition – testament to the pride local people have and brilliant work being done to boost Britain’s high streets.
“The local high street is the life and soul of many towns, villages and cities across the country and these awards are a great opportunity to not only celebrate those that are the best of the best, but also to help others learn their valuable tips for success.
“Crown Glass Shopping and the Nailsea High Street just missed out on the public vote this year but can take great pride in being named one of Britain’s best high streets”.
The Great British High Street Competition 2015 – sponsored by Boots, Costa, Post Office, Marks and Spencer and Tesco – is now in its second year and is one of a number of initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community.
These include a billion pound package of investment ranging from targeted business rate discounts, sensible planning changes and action that reins in over-zealous parking practices.
The first Great British High Street competition last year saw 135 communities battle it out to be crowned the nation’s best. Belper in Derbyshire emerged as the overall winner.
Belper found that winning not only boosted town pride, but also had a tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall.
Charlotte added: “We’re proud that we are being recognised as one of Britain’s best high streets and we hope this will be a real boom for the town.
“Strategic alliances of like-minded advocates, representing retailers, Nailsea Town Council and commercial landlords have all worked hard to developing a new look and feel for the whole town centre.
“The town council has given us a great deal of support with this application which we are very grateful for.
“During recent months, new shops have opened in Crown Glass including Costa, School Togs and Nailsea Cycles which not only improves shopper choice it creates a focus for the entire community and an attraction for shoppers.
“This is a great boost for Nailsea, and we can’t wait to further improve the town in the coming years.”
To read more about Crown Glass shopping centre go to its page on by clicking HERE.
Nailsea gets its skates on fundraising for park
‘The challenge is to maximise the amount we can fundraise in the next 10 weeks to invest in a skatepark which will last 20 years'
I know it isn’t sporting to call foul but I wish Sport England would have given a £60,000 grant towards building a new skate park at Nailsea.
It gave Marlow Rowing Club one million pounds to rebuild its boathouse which was burned down after fire.
I mention this because my home town of Marlow is a much more affluent area and it had its fundraising goal was just a quarter of the £2.35m project cost.
It also had help from the sporting communities of nearby High Wycombe and Henley.
Nailsea Skateboard Project was launched 14-months ago to replace out-of-date concrete ramps at Millennium Park.
Its £60,000 bid to Sport England towards building a new skate park at Nailsea by next summer failed.
Spokesman Phil Williams, of Christian Surfers, said it was a setback although the project has already banked more than half its original £160,000 rebuilding target.
He said: “This obviously is a blow to the team but all involved are convinced that we will be able to replace the skate park in time for summer 2016 as we have a final three months of fundraising before tenders go out to potential skate park builders.”
By slightly modifying some of the features of the new design the fundraisers have given themselves 12-13 weeks to raise a further £20,000.
Phil said: “Unfortunately due to stiff competition from hundreds of other Sport England applications for more than six times the amount of money available we weren’t successful.
“Of course it was a disappointment we were not successful although we were complimented on a really well put together bid but it will not stop us pushing on.
The skate park was a planning gain from Tesco supermarket but is now 14-years-old.
Phil said: “The skate park has seen better days.
“The fantastic news is that during the past 14 months more than £83,000.”
This has been achieved by numerous high profile fundraising including the Tough As Nails cross country marathon organised by community policeman Mark Raby and Trendlewood Community Festival plus business, church, community and council grants.
Phil said: “A project of this size was never going to be easy to deliver, however the team are really excited by the financial commitments already received.
“Monies already committed have included substantial grants from Nailsea Town Council, Holy Trinity and Trendlewood Church, North Somerset Council and commitments from two other community groups, Nailsea Community Trust and COIN.
“These have been supplemented with a large number of donations from individuals and businesses including Tesco, Nailsea Lions and the young people who use the park.”
Nailsea Skatepark project organisers open meeting at Youth House on Thursday evening pictured right.
It was agreed to push on to maximise the amount of money that can raise between now and Christmas in order to fulfil the dream to have a new concrete skatepark built in time for the skatepark festival and Nailsea showcase on Saturday, July 9, 2016.
Phil said: “Achieving a minimum target of an extra £20,000 will not be easy.
“At the open evening the youngsters were all tasked with coming up with ideas for their own fundraisers, but that alone will not get us to the target.
“In simple terms we have 13 weeks in order to maximise what we can raise to put into a rebuilt skatepark which will last if it is kept well over 20 years.”
Past competitors at the park include 22-year-old James Threfall an established name on the UK circuit who has just been chosen for the World Skateboarding games .
Already lined up are being part of the community green token scheme at Waitrose during November and at the Christmas market in December.
But Phil warned this won’t be enough and what they are looking at one or two bigger fundraisers.
He added: “I strongly believe that Nailsea and surrounding area can combine together to make this dream a reality, and that the park users can enjoy for many years to come a first class facility, but there is a lot of work to do.
“It's going to be a busy but exciting few months ahead for the project, but the team believe that by ‘working together we can achieve so much more’.”
To donate click HERE to make a cheque payable to ‘Nailsea Town Council’ marked for the Nailsea Skatepark Project and send to Tithe Barn, Church Lane, Nailsea, North Somerset, BS48 4NG.
Or email Neil Wylie via with ideas how you and/or your group/business can help. Please.
...another one bites the dust...
The wine bar at The Courtyard, Nailsea, has closed – yet again – this time with the loss of 10 jobs.
Owner Ellen-Louise Pirret said: “I wish I could give you something in way of a statement but we are in a legal situation and so can't discuss any details just now.
“I will say that we took the decision to close, it was very much the right thing in the end for us but it's sad as we had a lot of support from wonderful people who kept us going through what can only be described as hugely challenging times especially for such a new small business.”
The bar and restaurant behind the High Street has had a succession of different people running the business since former owner Maureen Buchaly closed the establishment after 20 years in April 2012.
Maureen was forced out of business by rising costs and then landlord Tony Thatcher had a brief time in charge.
Despite early promise when Barry and Sam Farrell took over for a few months from October 2014 they too threw in the towel.
And in March this year after another refit and rebranding to The Atrium, along came Ellen and it was re-opened.
Ellen recruited a new chef and waiting staff, replaced the huge television with a tasteful piece of wall art and oversaw a massive spring clean which included redecorating and re-carpeting.
Mr Thatcher clung onto his dream of turning the whole of The Courtyard into a boutique bed and breakfast with first floor en suite bedrooms.
Determined to rebuild custom Ellen open daily from early morning to late evening serving everything from morning coffee and cakes to three course dinners and Sunday lunch.
She restocked the wine cellar and put Butcombe beer is back on tap.
Even TV personality Michael Portillo came to dine and the Tripadvisor ratings were four star plus.
But then came another bombshell – when Mr Thatcher renewed the license to serve alcohol with North Somerset Council - he failed to declare he had been made bankrupt.
This invalidated the license and twice Ellen was forced to close while the paperwork was sorted.
In the end it all proved too much and she also gave up.
bar l restaurant I coffee lounge
wine bar and good food restaurant
The Courtyard, Nailsea
Manager Ellen-Louise Pirret and her staff look forward to welcoming all at 120 High Street
Open daily from 9.30am for
Dinner 6-9.30pm Monday to Thursday,
6-10pm Friday and Saturday and traditional Sunday lunch noon-4pm
Well-stocked wine cellar with fine selection of white and red
Butcombe beer on tap
To book click HERE, call 01275 854455 or email
The north wind doth blow
Okay hands up perhaps we were a little early with the Christmas countdown on the Business Peeps page.
But North Somerset Council has poured icy water on any idea that our summer is at an end by asking this week: "Do you want to help prepare your community for winter?"
It is asking for volunteers to become a snow warden and help keep local access routes clear when the weather gets tough.
It asks: Perhaps there is a specific site that needs clearing such as your local school, village shop, doctors surgery?
Join forces with your neighbours to keep your community moving this winter - snow shovels and hi-vis provided for free!
To register interest people are aksed call 01934 426 322 or email with your name, contact information and preferred date(s) for attending the training session.
These are the dates for snow warden training:
Tuesday, October 20, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, 11.30am-1pm
Thursday, October 22, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, 6-7.30pm
Tuesday, November 3, Castlewood, Clevedon, 1.30-3pm
Thursday, November 12, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare, 1-2.30pm
Wednesday, November 18, Castlewood, Clevedon, 10-11.30am
Thursday, November 26, Castlewood, Clevedon, 10-11.30am.
Visit the community resilience website to find out more about how your local knowledge and enthusiasm could make a real difference in your community by clicking HERE.
Schoolwear: uniforms, shoes, nametapes and more
Sportswear: PE kits and more
Footwear: football boots, Wellington boots, trainers, shoes, velcro daps
Dancewear: RAD approved ballet, tap, modern, jazz
Uniforms and accessories: Beavers, Rainbows, Cubs, Brownies, Guides and Scouts
Visit new shop at Colliers Walk, Nailsea
Tel: 01275 857491 Twitter: #schooltogsnailsea