Work starts on town centre enhancement scheme

AT a time when many town centre redevelopment plans are being put on ice because of the recession, one town in Comet country is bucking the trend. The first phase of a three phase development – Street Scene Improvement Works in Letchworth GC– started on T

AT a time when many town centre redevelopment plans are being put on ice because of the recession, one town in Comet country is bucking the trend.

The first phase of a three phase development - Street Scene Improvement Works in Letchworth GC- started on Tuesday.

The works will transform the look and feel of the town's two main shopping streets - Eastcheap and Leys Avenue - with the addition of convenient 'nose-in' on-street parking, new landscaped seating areas, water features and major sculptures. Top quality materials will be used throughout.

The contractor for the �8m scheme is Skanska Utilities Ltd. The works are due to be completed in 58 weeks, but that includes a break from November 13 to January 17 in order not to disrupt the Christmas retail trade.


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The scheme is funded completely by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, the largest landlord in the town.

Stuart Kenny, the Foundation's director general, said: "Like the next two phases of our town centre revitalisation, the street scene improvements have been developed on the back of detailed research by The Retail Group. They looked at the existing town centre offer and what needed to change in order for it to retain more of our core catchment area customers and draw in more people from the secondary catchment area.

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"A unique, quality environment with convenient car parking was seen as fundamental and that is why we are pressing ahead with the work.

"The second phase of the town centre works will be the redevelopment of The Wynd area, where we already have planning consent for a retail and residential development. We are currently in discussions with a proposed joint venture partner.

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