Hartlepool’s Church Street is set to be closed to traffic for more than half a year as a multi-million pound project is stepped up.
Work on the street itself and Church Square will get underway on Monday, October 30.
The street will be closed to through traffic for 30 weeks while the work takes place, with the £3.4million phase of the project due to be completed in May 2018.
It comes after the start of construction earlier this month to convert the former Post Office building in the nearby Whitby Street into a new £3million creative business centre.
It is part of a bid to transform the area into a hub for creative industries.
The next phase has been funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Hartlepool Borough Council.
These much-needed improvements will enhance and celebrate this historic quarter of HartlepoolCoun Kevin Cranney
Coun Kevin Cranney, chair of the council’s regeneration services committee, said: “These much-needed improvements will enhance and celebrate this historic quarter of Hartlepool, creating an attractive and revitalised environment for people to enjoy and in which businesses can flourish.”
There will be a sign-posted diversion in place along Tower Street and Huckelhoven Way while work is taking place. Vehicle and pedestrian access to the businesses and the railway station will be maintained.
The existing trees in Church Street which obscure the buildings will be removed and replaced with smaller ones and unnecessary street clutter such as bollards and signs will be taken away. Engraved stones will be set into the pavement outside key buildings, explaining their history.
Two-way traffic along Church Street will still be maintained and there will still be a number of parking bays, and the new layout will make it easier for sections of Church Street to be closed off for hosting future events while still maintaining good traffic flow via short diversions.
Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of the council, added: “This phase as a whole will help create a thriving route running from the town centre and the transport interchange through Church Square and Church Street down to what will be the redeveloped waterfront.”
The project will see Church Square given a major uplift, with the area to become pedestrianised, with a large oval event space encircled by trees and raised seeting to be created in front of Hartlepool Art Gallery.