Work set to start on Congleton town centre revamp plans
MORE than £300,000 has been earmarked to help rejuvenate a town centre as part of an ambitious regeneration project.
The cash will be poured into the centre of Congleton in a bid to gradually transform the town’s streets, public spaces and roads over the next 10 years.
Twelve parts of the town have been identified for the improvements.
The first phase is now set to go ahead after Cheshire East Council announced it will release an initial £310,000 for the project.
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Congleton Town Council will add to that a further £50,000, with further sponsorship sought from local businesses.
The first phase will focus on the planned Festival Square area of the town centre, and will include re-paving, planting beds, signs and improvements to pedestrianised zones.
The project, which forms part of the Congleton Public Realm Strategy, also includes plans for a permanent tree to be planted in the square, meaning the council will no longer have to pay for an expensive temporary Christmas tree each year.
Congleton Town mayor, Sally Ann Holland, below, welcomed the funding, which was announced at a meeting of Congleton Town Council on Tuesday night.
Councillor Holland said: “This will be a fantastic boost for the town and everyone is very much looking forward to the positive benefits these plans will bring to Congleton.
“It’s about increasing footfall in the town centre and everyone, from shoppers to pedestrians and businesses, will benefit.
“It’s also going to be aesthetically very pleasing.”
Deputy mayor, George Hayes, said: “I think this will improve Congleton and really enhance the town centre.
“It’s important to try to attract more people into the town centre and really help promote Congleton as a shopping destination.”
The cash injection has also been welcomed by both traders and regular shoppers in the town.
Paul Bates, chairman of Congleton Business Association, said: “Festival Square, when built, is going to be something that benefits everyone in the town.
“It will be used for much more than just trading, and the plan is to have open events held in the square throughout the year.
“The idea is to keep more shoppers in the area for longer by giving them more things to come and see.
“If everything goes to plan, we’re hopeful work can start on the square at the end of this year, or early next year.”
Rob Sim, aged 50, who lives on Buxton Road, Congleton, said: “Any money which is spent on making the town look better and more attractive can only be a good thing.
“There are a few closed shops at the minute and hopefully this will attract more businesses to come to Congleton.
“The idea of having a public square is really good and will improve the town.”