Taunton Deane Borough Council has picked St Modwen as its preferred development partner for the £270m Firepool scheme.

The 16.6 acre site is designated as a strategic employment site and the council wants it to be the ‘commercial heart’ of Taunton and the first phase of Project Taunton, the 123.6 acre Town Centre regeneration scheme.

Project Taunton will provide 2,000 new homes, more than 800,000 sq ft of employment space and 500,000 sq ft of retail space. Firepool, the first phase, is set to provide 400 homes and more than 500,000 sq ft of office space.

Rob Skelston, development director for St Modwen in the south west, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to create a modern commercial centre that will attract new businesses into the area and benefit the town as a whole.’

As part of the selection process, St Modwen demonstrated a commitment to sustainability as part of the project’s ‘Taunton Protocol’.

Taunton Deane Cllr John Williams, chairman of the Project Taunton Steering Group, said: ‘It is testament to the soundness of our proposals that even in difficult financial times we have a major developer providing this vote of confidence in Taunton’s future.’

Alder King advised on the process.