The House of Somerset is envisioned as a local landmark facility which will showcase the best of Somerset’s more than 8,000 food, drink and farm supply producers. As a Regional Destination it will promote Somerset sourced agriculture in all its forms with a Visitor Centre, Food Court, Produce Hall, and Farmers Market. A National Trust themed interactive display which explores the Battle of Waterloo will anchor the visitor centre. Adjacent to the House of Somerset will be a pair of Artisan Buildings that contain workshops related to the craft producers on display. The whole development will signpost Wellington as the independent retail centre of Somerset.
The 2,500 sqm main building is inspired by the local rural vernacular and reflects the deep farming heritage of Somerset. Multiple gable roof forms echo the classic barns of the county, whilst the wood and stone cladding blends in effortlessly with the local landscape. Commercial cookery facilities will be available to support pop-up restaurants, and dining options will incorporate the many flavours of the county. Sustainable design elements are incorporated throughout, as manifest in the green roofs, electric vehicle charging point, and bicycle hire facility. An iconic observation tower is also planned to announce the development and pay homage to the Wellington Monument which is visible across the vale. The landscaped grounds will feature picnic areas, water features, and interconnected trails leading to the nearby Blackdown Hills AONB.