Somerset

Bath and West showground plans given the go ahead

Royal Bath and West Showground masterplan
Image caption The showground is best known for hosting agricultural shows

Plans for the £120m regeneration of the Bath and West showground in Somerset have been given the go ahead.

Redevelopment proposals for the ground in Shepton Mallet include a shopping village, business park, exhibition hall and two hotels.

Two fields of solar panels to create 5MW of electricity at the grounds are also part of the scheme.

It is hoped the regeneration will create 1,500 new jobs and encourage over one million visitors per year.

Encourage agriculture

Jane Guise, chief executive of the Royal Bath and West of England Society, said: "It's significant because it's the first formal step in the process towards redeveloping the showground.

"The planning and the discussions have been going on for about nine years."

Mendip District Council approved the plans unanimously on Wednesday.

The Royal Bath and West of England Society, which owns the showground, was founded in 1777 and is a registered charity aiming to encourage agriculture, the arts and commerce.

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