Plans in full swing to refresh Cheltenham’s High Street

 

Trees, signage, seating and new paving will start to transform the High Street when work goes ahead next year.

The project extends from the lower end of Winchcombe Street, through the town centre, up to the Strand end of the High Street. Consultants have now been appointed to help deliver the initial phase which will see over £700,000 being invested by Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council in improvements to the public realm.

The borough council is working in collaboration with a number of partners to develop the design including the county council, Cheltenham BID (Business Improvement District) and Cheltenham Development Taskforce. At this stage funding limitations will mean that the wider project will need to be delivered in phases, the first construction phase is programmed for completion in autumn 2018.

The improvements are part of a bigger package of enhancements which has already seen benefits to the Lower High Street with the creation of pocket parks, cycle stands and the removal of railings after consultation with local businesses and residents. This is in addition to local transport improvements through the delivery of the Cheltenham Transport Plan.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety said: ‘’Investing in the High Street has been a priority for a long time and I am pleased that we are now in a position, with a design company and many key partners on board, to press ahead with the work.  I am proud that our town centre remains strong and has a prosperous future. We have been engaging with John Lewis partnership over the past few months to align our programme wherever possible with the much anticipated new store opening to customers next year, the town is an ideal choice for new businesses and investors. These improvements to the public realm will add further momentum to the strength of our town centre.’’

Councillor Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This is a really exciting time for Cheltenham town centre, with improvements to the High Street and the Promenade both confirmed for the New Year.”

“We know how important the look of Cheltenham is to the local businesses that are so vital to the town. By investing in partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council, we’re helping to give this key shopping street the make-over it deserves ahead of the opening of John Lewis next year.”

Public exhibitions will go on display next year.