A regeneration scheme for Loughborough town centre has received the final go-ahead and work is due to start in January.
Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet last night appointed a contractor to carry out the work on the £2.6 million Bedford Square Gateway Project.
The project will see footpaths widened and re-paved to create a high-quality and attractive street scene which will showcase the area’s distinct character and heritage. Character street lighting and furniture would also be added and more of the area would be on one level making it more accessible.
A large open space in Devonshire Square will be created to host events and markets. The scheme also retains parking and maintains traffic flow in the area.
Council leader Jonathan Morgan said: “I am delighted this important regeneration scheme is now going to get underway.
“It will transform the area around Bedford Square, Ward’s End and Devonshire Square into a much more welcoming and inviting gateway for people visiting the town centre.
“The pandemic has clearly had a significant impact on the national and local economy, but we are already working on helping the borough to recover. This scheme is a key element of that recovery effort, particularly for Loughborough.
“There will be some disruption, but we will be working hard with the contractor to keep that to a minimum as we recognise how important it is for shops to remain accessible and operational.
“I look forward to seeing the scheme progress and hopefully by the time it is completed we will be able to shop and walk about town with more freedom than at present. It could mark the beginning of a new exciting period for Loughborough town centre.”
Kevin Harris is chair of the LLEP Board of Directors. He said:
“The people of Loughborough deserve a vibrant town centre which is able to adapt to changing times and the new ways in which we interact with our public spaces. Our high streets faced challenges before a COVID-19 pandemic which has served to intensify and make them more urgent.
“Therefore, we have allocated £183,000 from our Pooled Business Rates Fund – a pot of surplus funding managed by the LLEP, that is used to invest in economic development priorities across Leicester and Leicestershire – to support this initiative, as we look to ensure that Leicestershire’s economy is equipped to face whatever challenges the new decade may bring.”
Some initial work will start in January with the main construction phase due to get underway in mid-February.Visit the Bedford Square page on the Charnwood Council website