A £710,000 facelift in the centre of Worksop has divided opinion among shoppers and traders.
Bassetlaw Council hopes the improvement works on Bridge Street and Bridge Place, including new street furniture and the removal of raised flowerbeds, will draw more people into the town centre.
The council claimed the work, which started in October, would cause minimal disruption, but shopper Lucy Harmey questioned the timing of the development which is due to finish in March 2013.
“Why do it now? Improvements to Worksop are a good thing, the issue is the timing. It’s a shame the works are happening when the Christmas lights are being turned on,” she said.
Greenwoods manager Ernie Terry agreed, and said: “It’s had no impact on trade because it’s not outside our store but it seems a stupid time of year to do it.”
“There used to be a lot of drunk people sitting around the flowerbeds so it’s good that the flowerbeds have been taken out.”
The building work is welcomed by market trader Alan Paramore who said that it had caused little disruption.
He said: “The old flowerbeds got in the way of vans coming in so it’s good that the area is being opened up.”
Trader Sean Seese said: “It will give shoppers more space to move around in.”
Retailers on Bridge Street praised the council for improving the area.
Carphone Warehouse manager Tom Law said: “There are better things the council could spend money on but at least they are doing good things in the town and it will make the area look better.”
The manager at Holland & Barrett added: “From my perspective I am happy they are doing it. It’s annoying when they have the drills out but it makes the town more prosperous.”
“I’m hoping it will bring my sales up but we will see when the improvements are finished.”
The first phase of Bridge Street improvements is nearing completion, this includes the removal of flower beds from Bridge Street to help facilitate the improved layout of the market and improve the main shopping area.
The removal of existing planters is due to be completed by the beginning of December and no further work is expected to take place on Bridge Street/Bridge Place until January 2013.
This aims to ensure any disruption to Worksop Market and retailers will be minimal and will not affect Christmas trading.
The improvements to Bridge Street are in response to a consultation of market traders, retailers and customers, which took place in July 2011.
The £710,000 project will create a better shopping experience for visitors and customers and will also improve the vibrancy and vitality of the town centre.
The main works will commence in January, which will see the replacement of all street furniture, the installation of feature lighting to enhance the shopping area and flip-lid power sockets which will improve the layout and facilities for market traders.
Portfolio holder for community prosperity Coun David Pressley said: “The regeneration of the town centre is one of the council’s main priorities as we wish to make the area as attractive as possible.”
“We have planned to undertake this work at either side of the Christmas period so it does not adversely affect the Christmas trade in the town centre.”