Work starts this week on the renovation of the Market Square in Stafford.
It is the first phase of a project that will see the biggest transformation of the High Street in the town for a generation.
The more than £1 million work involves enabling the area to be equipped to hold more events and specialist markets. It will include enhancing the look of the square with new paving, furniture, and planting – but also significant infrastructure changes such as improvements to utility supplies and drainage.
The work is expected to be completed by September.
The investment is a small part of a £21 million pot that has been backed by a successful bid from the government’s Future High Street Fund (FHSF) with contributions from Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said: “I am really pleased to see this exciting first phase of work get underway.
“Revitalising the heart of our county town is the next stage in our major regeneration of Stafford. Our ‘fit for purpose’ revitalised Market Square will increase footfall, encourage larger scale events and bring specialist markets to Stafford.”
Award-winning civil engineering company, McPhillips (Wellington) Limited will be undertaking the work.
Other investment in the town in recent times includes the opening of the £63 million Western Access Road, the £28 million state of the art skills and innovation hub at Stafford College as well as the new Shire Hall enterprise hub – which opened last summer.
Money has been secured by the county council with the William Salt Trust, for the Staffordshire History Centre, off Eastgate Street, and the FHSF will also be funding work to improve the landscape outside the front of Stafford Railway Station.
Confidential discussions are still taking place around other changes to the town centre which will form part of the Future High Street Fund project.