Welcome to Isaac's Yard

It’s our proposal for the Levelling Up Fund, and we want everyone involved.

It’s about communities, making them stronger and giving them a bigger say in how their town works for them.

It’s about creating opportunities for all- and in particular giving ambition and hope to young people.

Oh, and we’d really like it to look great, have the highest green standards and be a lot of fun!

Where is Isaac's Yard?

A hidden space in the heart of the town.

Imagine walking up Cooper Street then along Mill Street, down Bridgeland Street and across Queen Street, back to Jubilee Square. You’ve just done a lap around the outside of the Isaac’s Yard space.

Isaac’s Yard will bring together land currently used for Heard Brothers Garage, Blanchards and a heritage walled garden behind 28, Bridgeland Street. 

Prepare to be surprised!

What is Isaac's Yard?

A different way to use OUR town.

A different way that OUR town can work for US as a community.

  • A better way to work- bringing people together in vibrant shared work spaces and grow on units. Networking, training opportunities and collaboration at heart.
  • A Community Hub- working with One Northern Devon (NHS), TTVS (voluntary services), Energy 361 (environmental advice) to create a flexible space  to support real change for people’s lives. We’re not talking beige cardigans or cabbage soup but a hub for collaborative efforts to help make people in need’s lives better. Isn’t that one of the key things we’ve all felt over the course of the pandemic?
  • An-ever changing cultural space to inspire and make people smile. Bringing alive our town’s fascinating past and dreaming of a future we can all help to create. From Virtual Reality to animation, telling the stories that matter.
  • Street food, micro-breweries / distilleries and great times to enjoy! 
  • A walled courtyard garden- the high walls and surrounding streets block out wind and traffic noise, leaving you to relax or enjoy a workshop, an acoustic set, have a sandwich in the middle of the day or even get married. The possibilities are endless…

Why Isaac's Yard?

Back in January 2019 every town in the country wanted to be involved in the £1billion government Future High Street Fund. 

In the end Bideford wasn’t chosen for funding- but the feedback we were given suggested that our bid was really strong, in particular its focus on sustainability, the community and creating economic change.

Since then the pandemic has hit hard. The world’s changed, and town centres are struggling more than ever.

Torridge has been announced as a Priority 1 area for the Levelling Up Fund, with only a 2 month window to prepare. The fund can’t be used to fill in pot holes, or support shops to re-paint. It has to be a development that will make a real impact on people’s lives.

We need to address some issues and create a better place for the future.

We need to make the town less dependent just on retail. How many people shop from home but ACTUALLY want to come to town for experiences, great quality and the great customer service they receive in town?

We need transformation- and that’s Isaac’s Yard, the empty hole in the heart of our town.

Will Isaac's Yard happen?

“It’ll never happen in Bideford!”      “It’s all talk”

Not being funded in the Future High Street Fund really, really hurt. But we’ve listened, developed and come back stronger, ready for the Levelling Up Fund.

This is the biggest single developable space in the heart of Bideford and the bid to the Future High Street Fund has received support from a huge range of sources- from North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Friends of the Earth through to South West Business Council, Federation of Small Businesses, Digital Northern Devon, local schools, events organisers, traders, tourism bodies, voluntary services and charities.

If we don’t show ambition and work together then we won’t achieve the change that we all know we need.

Who's behind Isaac's Yard?

This had to be a team effort.

We started in the only place we could- asking our community. We worked with The Onion Collective, national experts in community development and ran a series of workshops, surveys and open meetings in January and February. West Croft Primary School year 6 even ran a unit of work to imagine their town of the future.

The findings and Theory of Change (approved by Bideford Town Council) can be viewed at http://bit.ly/KnowingBideford

Those key strands then lead in to our uses and designs, working with award winning DHUD masterplanners and Hilton Barnfield architects and,igloo Regeneration, experienced regeneration experts with an amazing track record and who are, according to the United Nations, “the world’s first sustainable property investors”!

Moving forward we want to get more people involved, though, and extend our community board to really represent our wider community.

Show your support

Download the plan