Historic Tone Works factory gets £20m regeneration boost

The Tone Works complex
The factory operated from 1790 until the 1980s

A plan to regenerate a set of historic Somerset buildings has received a £20m funding boost.

The Tone Works factory, based in Wellington since 1790, will be transformed after the government approved a Levelling Up bid.

The complex includes the Tonedale Mills, which together produced textiles until it closed in the 1980s.

Taunton Deane Conservative MP Rebecca Pow said the announcement would bring "a range of economic opportunities".

Somerset West and Taunton Council's approved bid for £19,987,663 did not include the previous funding granted by Government of £1m last year.

The council lost a previous Levelling Up bid in June 2021.

Somerset Council said the plan for Tonedale would restore and save a "nationally important heritage site and a much-loved historic landmark".

The Tone Works complex
The last bid for Levelling Up funding was unsuccessful

The funding for the complex, based off the B3187 Milverton Road, did not affect Somerset Councils' financial emergency, the authority said.

It added that the money could only be spent on this specific project and could not be used for any other services that the council provided.

Ms Pow said: "I am absolutely thrilled that the Government have just announced that nearly £20m has been provisionally awarded for our application to the Levelling up Fund 'Vision for Tonedale'.

"This ambitious plan will restore and save nationally important heritage sites; also much-loved historic landmarks.

"I am so pleased that this has been addressed today with this announcement, bringing with it a range of economic opportunities."

Councillor Ros Wyke, lead member for economy, planning and assets at Somerset Council, said: "We are extremely pleased that the importance of heritage of Wellington has been recognised, after the disappointment of Rounds 1 and 2."

Follow BBC West on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: bristol@bbc.co.uk