THE new look of Nelson Town Centre is rapidly taking shape, with the process now expanding on to Manchester Road.
The scheme is designed to reintroduce traffic to the heart of town, travelling from Manchester Road to Leeds Road.
But it also involves a much better look, with fine stone flags, attractive lights and trees, seats and a pedestrian and cycle route through the centre.
And in the middle of the shopping area, there will be a new seating area – a sort of small amphitheatre surrounded by trees.
On top of that, literally, there will be a high statue – in the shape of a shuttle which will be up to 12m high.
That will remind people of the impact the cotton industry had on the development of Nelson in the middle of the 19th Century.
The work already carried out in Market Street gives an idea of the impressiveness the new centre will have, and bringing back cars through the centre is aimed at getting more people to visit it, helping to boost the retail businesses.
Traffic will have to travel slowly through the centre to protect pedestrians, while there will be short-stay parking areas so that people can pop in and do a bit of shopping.
The bad weather in December made the work difficult to do, but extra staff has now been brought in to speed things up and progress is taking place quickly.
The progress is being carried out in different areas so that the centre can stay open.
Work will start soon on the final stretch of Manchester Road, and the final section will be the central area, including the shuttle, similar in colour to the Angel of the North.
The whole scheme will hopefully be completed by late June or early July.