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Work on scheme to revitalise Loughborough town centre to get underway

Published: Fri 19th February, 2021

Work on a major regeneration scheme for Loughborough town centre gets underway on Monday, February 22.

Charnwood Borough Council is carrying out the £2.6 million Bedford Square Gateway Project to make the area more attractive to visitors and to support local businesses.

The Council says the long-standing scheme is more important than ever as the town looks to the future and recovering from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project will see footpaths widened and re-paved to create a high-quality and attractive street scene which will showcase the area’s distinct character and heritage. Character street lighting and furniture will also be added and more of the area will be on one level, making it more accessible.

A large open space in Devonshire Square will be created to host events and markets. The scheme also retains parking and maintains traffic flow in the area.

Council leader Jonathan Morgan said: “The Bedford Square Gateway Project will transform the southern end of the town centre and make it a much more welcoming place to visit.

“I look forward to seeing it progress and when completed it will make a significant difference to Loughborough.

“This scheme takes on greater significance because of the pandemic and the need to drive the economic recovery of Loughborough town centre. I am pleased we are investing in its future.”

Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough, said: “The scheme will bring new life to this part of town which is good for shoppers, visitors and businesses. We will have to tolerate some disruption for a few months but when complete it will make a big difference to the town centre experience.”

The project has received £183,000 from the Pooled Business Rates Fund – a pot of surplus funding managed by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) on behalf of local authorities, which is used to invest in economic development priorities across Leicester and Leicestershire.

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “I’m very pleased that the work to improve Bedford Square in Loughborough is about to get underway. The project has received £183,000 from the Pooled Business Rates Fund – a pot of surplus funding managed by the LLEP on behalf of the local authorities, that is used to invest in economic development priorities across Leicester and Leicestershire.

“These are trying times for our town centres and public spaces, but I am confident that the new-look Bedford Square will prove dynamic and adaptable, and will meet the needs of the people of Loughborough for decades to come.”

David Pagett-Wright, chair of the Loughborough Town Team, said: “It’s great to see work starting at last on this key transformation project. I look forward to seeing the benefits of the scheme take shape over the coming months.”

Fitzgerald Contractors Limited is on-site and will start work on Monday, February 22 in Devonshire Square. The initial work in Devonshire Square is planned to be completed in mid-July with road resurfacing and the construction of pedestrian crossing points and raised tables added at the end of the project. The current work will include the following:

  • widening of footpaths
  • creation of a large public open space all on one level for events, entertainment and the market
  • the surface, lighting and pedestrian access to Granby Street Car Park via Devonshire Lane will be improved
  • creation of larger parking bays, some of which will be designated as disabled spaces
  • creation of a loading bay
  • addition of cycle parking facilities
  • addition of new street furniture and planting (removable for events i.e. Loughborough Fair)

While the work is carried out in Devonshire Square it means the temporary loss of parking there. This will help ensure traffic can continue to flow. Parking is available nearby in Beehive Lane, Granby Street and in Bedford Square. There will be access to shops at all times.

For more information on the project, visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/bedfordsquare2021