The long-awaited refurbishment of Burnley town centre is finally complete, just in time for Christmas.
The huge, often controversial, project has seen the old paving of Burnley’s main thoroughfare, St James’s Street, ripped up and replaced with brighter and lighter paving.
Street furniture, too, has been replaced with new benches, lighting and planters added, while major exisiting features such as the bandstand and gormless lamp-post have been relocated.
The joint Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council project has not been without criticism, though, with original costs of £3m. spiralling, first by £300,000 and then by another £650,000.
Coun. Lian Pate, executive member for community services, said: “The redevelopment show the council’s commitment to boosting our economy by bringing in more visitors and shoppers.
The fact we are prepared to invest in our town centre is a vote of confidence in its future and has helped attract further investment from private companies such as Primark.”
Council leader Mark Townsend added: “The town centre looks really good. It’s clean and modern and we’ve had some positive feedback from the public. I’d like to thank shoppers and businesses for their patience.”
Brian Hobbs, president of Burnley Chamber of Trade, said: “What with the Christmas lights and the smart new town centre, Burnley looks as brilliant as it really is.”
Local businesses have backed the new look.
Michael and Debra Kelly, who recently opened a café in St James's Street, said: “As a new business in the town centre we welcome the amazing improvements that have been made. The centre looks amazing and we at Kellys Café and Bar look forward to enhancing the new feel of the town.”