Future face of town centre is taking shape

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The completion of the first part of refurbishment work in Burnley town centre has given a taste of things to come.

The work at the bottom of Manchester Road involved laying new paving and installing new benches, cycle racks and large flower tubs, as well as reinstating disabled parking bays.

It’s a taste of things to come and I’m looking forward to seeing other parts of the town centre getting a similar makeover.

Coun. Lian Pate

The work is part of a £3m. regeneration of parts of the shopping centre, jointly funded by Burnley and Lancashire County Councils.

Similar work is nearing completion in The Mall and preparation work is underway in St James’s Street and Curzon Street.

Coun. Lian Pate, Burnley Council’s Executive member for community services, said: “The work in Manchester Road has made a massive difference.

“It looks a lot brighter and more up-to-date and with the recent sunshine it’s been wonderful to see people sitting on the benches and enjoying the new area.

“The new tubs have been planted with flowers and shrubs and it’s made a really positive impact.

“It’s a taste of things to come and I’m looking forward to seeing other parts of the town centre getting a similar makeover.

“It’s going to look great when it’s all finished.

“People want to shop in a place that looks nice and is enjoyable to walk around.

“This is about making Burnley even more attractive as a place to live, work and visit.

“The more people we can bring into town the greater the benefit for local businesses and the borough as a whole.”

The regeneration scheme aims to make the pedestrianised area of St James’s Street, between Hammerton Street and Hall Street, much more attractive and provide a better shopping experience for shoppers, visitors, businesses and anyone who lives and works in the town.

• Changing shopping habits have led Burnley Council strategists to look again at the town centre with the aim increasing leisure and service attractions.

Out of town retail parks and online shopping have hit town centres across the country.

The regeneration work will include new paving, benches and decorative lighting, and a revised “town square” area for future events such as events and other community activities.

This will mean the removal of the “gormless” lamppost currently outside Boots, as well as the Bandstand further along St James’s Street, which is expected to be transferred to Padiham’s Memorial Park.

The growing student population in the town is expected to support more leisure and nightlife.