Just a little more than 2 miles from Midsomer Norton, Radstock shares its neighbour’s past links with the local coal mining industry. While the last pits were closed in 1973, the town preserves its proud heritage through the efforts of the award-winning, volunteer-run Radstock Museum. Directly linked to the A367, Radstock is a great commuter town for those who work in the bigger cities of Bath and Bristol, but prefer the smaller, friendly community of Radstock’s 5,600 strong population.
Situated between Radstock and Midsomer Norton, Midsomer Enterprise Park offers well serviced office space for businesses. Services include telephone answering, postal services, hireable conference space, and there is even the option of a “virtual office” for home based businesses that desire a Bath address.
Bath Business Park is based just 3 miles north of Radstock and is home to large companies such as Mercedes Benz, amongst others. Westfield Industrial Estate also provides large commercial units, catering to bigger companies such as CFH Document Management, Bridges Ltd and Techniglaze ltd.
Big Local is a resident led programme to improve Radstock and Westfield using the £1m awarded by the Big Lottery Fund. The steering group is made up of local people, so the scheme truly has the area and its residents at heart. The group has listened to the community's concerns, and they aim to address issues brought forward from all residents; questionnaires, consultations and independent research have all contributed towards their 2015-18 plan for the area. Main areas for improvement include transport, jobs and training, and facilities for young people and community activities.
Victoria Hall (dating from 1866) has already been refurbished, linking the old Radstock to the new, and providing a community hall for all manner of classes, exhibitions and events.
Economic revitalisation is a priority, as Radstock has seen a drastic change in industry over the last 2 to 3 generations. Originally a very industrial town, the focus is shifting to small businesses, and the available training must shift to reflect that. Big Local is also encouraging the development of independent shops in Radstock town centre to increase both tourism and the local economy.
In addition to a handful of Primary Schools—most of which receive consistent “Good” Ofsted reports—Radstock is home to Writhlington Secondary School. A specialist Business and Enterprise College, Writhlington School was awarded the Badge in Excellence in Design for Virtual Learning, as well as winning the Excellence in Design for Teaching and Learning: Secondary New Build category, by The British Council for School Environments. The school has won awards for its Orchid project, and offers many other extracurricular activities, such as an Equestrian team and a Combined Cadet Force.
Writhlington’s Sixth Form also caters to graduates of the Mendip Studio School, which specialises in Electronic Engineering and Biosciences. It offers courses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computing to 14-19 year olds, and its industry partners provide work placements and workshops.
Radstock is well connected to Bath via the A367, and Bath Spa train station provides easy connections to Bristol and London. London is also accessible by coach, and 45 bus services link Radstock to Bath, Frome, Paulton, Wells and many other towns in the Bath area.
The SWAN volunteer transport scheme offers a car sharing service for the elderly, disabled and low income clients.
Connecting Devon and Somerset aims to bring superfast broadband of over 24Mbps to all premises in the Devon and Somerset area by 2020. The upgrade will help businesses keep up to speed with their urban competitors without having to leave their rural setting.
Radstock is not part of the current programme for 2016, but Connecting Devon and Somerset are pushing for additional funding to cover 95% of premises by the end of 2017. If you are unsure of whether your postcode lies in the area, try the postcode checker at the top left of this page.
Radstock has a well-loved creative community; the community arts centre Victoria Hall holds several classes such as dance and exercise, as well as providing a venue for the students to perform theatre, dance recitals and live music. Musicians South West, a collective of professional musicians based in the Bath area, regularly run free concerts locally around Radstock and Midsomer Norton.
For a more peaceful pastime, budding gardeners can call or email Radstock Town Council to join the waiting list for one of their 46 allotments.
Radstock’s museum displays permanent exhibitions depicting the life of their Victorian residents—particularly the typical miner and his family. They also hold 3 Special Exhibitions throughout the year, from February to November, to give a deeper insight into the history of the town.