Work on a major regeneration scheme for Loughborough town centre will get underway on Monday, 22 February.
Charnwood Borough Council is carrying out the £2.6 million Bedford Square Gateway Project to make the area more attractive to visitors and to support local businesses.
The Council says the long-standing scheme is much more important than ever as the town looks towards the future and recovering from the devastating impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project will see footpaths widened and re-paved to produce a high-quality and attractive street scene which will showcase the area’s character and heritage. Character street lighting and furniture will also be added and more of the area will 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 region.
Council leader Jonathan Morgan said: “The Bedford Square Gateway Project will transform the southern end from the town centre and make it a much more welcoming place to visit. I look forward to seeing it progress so when completed it will make a significant impact on Loughborough.
“This scheme takes on greater significance due to the pandemic and the need to drive the economical recovery of Loughborough town centre. I am pleased we are investing in its future.”
Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough, said: “The scheme will bring new life to this part of town which is good for shoppers, visitors and businesses. We will have to tolerate some disruption for a few months but when complete it'll make a big difference to the town centre experience.”
The project has received £183,000 from the Pooled Business Rates Fund – a pot of surplus funding managed through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) on behalf of local authorities, which is used to invest in economic development priorities across Leicester and Leicestershire.
Kevin Harris, Chair from the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “I’m very pleased that the work to improve Bedford Square in Loughborough is about to get underway. The project has received £183,000 from the Pooled Business Rates Fund – a pot of surplus funding managed through the LLEP on behalf of the local authorities, that is used to invest in economic development priorities across Leicester and Leicestershire.
“They are trying times for our town centres and public spaces, but I am confident that the new-look Bedford Square will prove dynamic and adaptable, and will meet the needs of the people of Loughborough for decades to come.”
David Pagett-Wright, chair of the Loughborough Town Team, said: “It’s great to determine work starting at last on this key transformation project. I am looking forward to seeing the benefits of the scheme take shape within the coming months.”
Fitzgerald Contractors Limited is on-site.