Bridgwater & Taunton College Trust

Bridgwater & Taunton College Trust

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Where We Live

Details of what the area is like in Bridgwater and South and West Somerset


Bridgwater is a historic market town in Somerset on the M5 between Bristol and Exeter in the Southwest, with a population of about 37,000.  It is on the edge of the Somerset Levels with the Mendip Hills to the north and the Quantock Hills to the west.  It has been a major port and trading centre, and maintains a large industrial base.  Today it has become a major distribution centre (NHS, Argos, agricultural business) with its links to the motorway.  The most recent notable development is the approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor.  This means there are major projects for houses, hotels and roads between Bridgwater and Hinkley Point (some 12 miles away) underway. 

However it also contains some of the most impoverished communities on its estates, and the general level of deprivation amongst parts of the population is high.  Both Bridgwater College and Hamp Academies are contributing to combating the educational issues that arise because of these issues.


Brymore Academy, is situated in Cannington, a large village 3 miles from West Bridgwater. The village has often been described as the 'gateway' to the Quantock Hills.  Cannington was primarily an agricultural community which grew rapidly in the 1960's when Hinkley Point ‘A’ and ‘B’ Nuclear Power Stations were built.   


Otterhampton Primary School is in the village of Combwich, which lies between Bridgwater and the Steart Peninsula. The village had served as a port until the 1930’s. However the wharf is now being used for the delivery of large equipment for the building of the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station.


Maiden Beech Academy serves the town of Crewkerne and the surrounding communities. The town is situated 9 miles south west of Yeovil and 7 miles east of Chard and is well connected with road networks. Crewkerne is an historic stone built country Market Town in the South Somerset Hills and lies on the River Parrett. The primary employment in Crewkerne is manufacturing. 


Stanchester Academy is located in the large village of Stoke-sub-Hamdon, in the civil parish of the South Somerset district. Buildings are mainly constructed in local Hamstone which is taken from Ham Hill, one of the largest Iron Age Forts in Europe. The village is located near the River Parrett and it is situated 5 miles west of Yeovil and the main transport link is the A3088 road. 


West Somerset College is on the outskirts of Minehead, a seaside town known to many for its “Butlins holiday camp” which has been much upgraded from the Fifties.  Minehead is 21 miles from the County town of Taunton and is one of the areas in the country affected by social mobility. It is now a predominantly retirement town for its resident population and consequently suffers from a lack of young people who stay for education and work. 

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