It was announced in October 2020 that Torquay will receive a significant investment of £21.9 million from the Government’s Towns Fund.

With accelerated funding of £750,000, three projects are being delivered at pace as part of the first phase of the Town Investment Plan.

The projects at Upton Park, Princess Gardens and Royal Terrace Gardens will help to revitalise and regenerate the town centre and surrounding areas and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2021. The projects are led by TDA and Torbay Council, with the works being delivered by SWISCo.

Find out more about the Torquay Towns Fund.

Upton Park

Investment in Upton Park will bring a variety of social benefits to the community and ensure residents and visitors are able to make the best use of the location. The tree works will increase light levels, sightlines and enhance the sense of space within the park, and bring the park in line with expected levels of maintenance along with fencing, surfacing and play equipment. Trees which are being removed will be replaced with a replanting scheme to change the species diversity and age structure, whilst increasing wildlife potential.

It is necessary to remove some of the trees – the ones being removed either have a short useful life owing to disease or to benefit the better trees in the park to allow them space to grow. The replanting will address the tree loss by a variety of mixed planting designed to provide large canopy trees for the future, ornamental species to provide interest year round and fruit trees for biodiversity (variety of plant and animal life). The cut back shrubs will regrow but at a more manageable size so they do not become too dominant, and by making the area more open this should also reduce anti-social behaviour.

Works to bring the netball facility back into use will follow, and further enhancements of the existing sports facilities. The park's lighting is to be upgraded to a LED system which will further help improve the park's amenities and help with a sense of space and pride in the park. Footpath and fencing will follow to improve access and enhance amenities and links through and within the space.

Artist impressions of what Upton Park could look like.

Artist impressions of what Upton Park could look like.

Princess Gardens

Improvements to Princess Gardens and Sunken gardens will provide better access, an event space within the former banjo area, enhanced landscape scheme for the gardens and around the war memorial, upgrading of the promenade lighting and enhanced illuminations.

Artist impression of what the event space at Princess Gardens could look like

Artist impression of what the event space at Princess Gardens could look like

What the enhanced landscape scheme in the Sunken Gardens could look like

What the enhanced landscape scheme in the Sunken Gardens could look like

Royal Terrace Gardens

Investment in Royal Terrace Gardens will include improving the illuminations along the seafront with more creative lighting year-round. By linking Royal Terrace Gardens with Abbey Gardens and Princess Gardens the project will encourage more people to connect with the seafront, visit different locations and offer a boost to the night-time economy.

This video shows a simulation of the new festoon lighting at Royal Terrace Gardens that has been unveiled.

Spaces for people to thrive in Torbay

The start of these projects comes at an exciting time for Torbay, with a range of multi-million-pound projects coming online to make spaces where people can thrive. These include £21.9m from the government for Torquay Towns Fund, plus £13.36m announced by the government last month for the Future High Streets Fund for Paignton.

This is in addition to a brand new ‘Torquay Gateway’ train station announced for Edginswell area, with £7.8m awarded from Network Rail and Department for Transport for its development. There are also plans to enhance Brixham in line with the Brixham Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan, with key areas earmarked including Harbour regeneration and Brixham Town Centre Car Park redevelopment.