Work will begin this summer on improving Cheltenham High Street adding new natural stone paving, seating, trees and a performance space.
The designs, which are now well advanced, will go on public exhibition in March. They will replace the existing mix of concrete and tarmac infill with new natural stone paving across the full width of the street, creating a flat comfortable walking area with improved surface drainage.
The new paving will be complemented by raised beds, planted with large trees and shrubs and will incorporate new seating and other street furniture. Additionally two new areas for events and performances will be created to support changing, seasonal activities in this part of the town.
The improvements will initially be focused between Rodney Road and Cambray Place and plans are linked as closely as possible to the opening of the new John Lewis store opening later in the year.
The investment of £725,000 has been agreed by Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council with some additional financial support being provided by the European Structural and Investment Fund.
Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety said: “Together with the county council and our partners, we are committed to enhancing the attractiveness of Cheltenham town centre.
“This will boost the town’s economic vitality, making it the place of choice for new businesses and investors. Importantly, we want to create a space which can be enjoyed by all those who live, work and visit here.’’
Kevan Blackadder, director of Cheltenham BID, added: “Cheltenham High Street has been in a poor state for too long and we’re delighted to see this significant investment happening. The BID will continue to highlight the need for similar work to be carried out either side of the initial area, to ensure we have a High Street fit for our wonderful town.”