Published: Wed 27th April, 2022
A regeneration project in Loughborough town centre has reached a major milestone as a significant phase of the scheme is completed.
The Bedford Square Gateway Project is regenerating Ward’s End, Devonshire Square and Bedford Square to make it more attractive to visitors.
On Friday (April 29) Ward’s End and Devonshire Square will reopen to traffic for the final time as most of the work there is now finished.
The area has been improved with high-quality paving, wider pavements, new street furniture and a new wide-open space in Devonshire Square to host events and activities.
Cllr Jenny Bokor, the Council’s lead member for Loughborough, said: “The Council has invested significantly into this scheme for the benefit of local businesses and residents.
“Ward’s End and Devonshire Square look much more inviting to shoppers and visitors and we have retained most of the parking in the area.
“We know it has caused disruption and we would like to thank everyone for their patience. Ward’s End and Devonshire Square are now complete except for a few minor works.”
New planters were added to Devonshire Square last week.
The roads will reopen at 4.30pm on Friday. There are some minor works to carry out in the coming weeks including the replacement of temporary tactile paving but this phase of the scheme is essentially complete.
Improvements to one of the two car parks in Bedford Square are also complete.
The milestone comes as the Council, working with Love Loughborough, has launched the Ward’s End Quarter High Street Boost scheme to support businesses affected by the works in that area of town.
The scheme means customers shopping at participating businesses can get a £5 Love Loughborough voucher for every £10 they spend, up to a maximum of £25 in vouchers. For more details, visit www.wards-end-quarter.com.
The £3.8 million regeneration scheme has been funded by the borough council, Loughborough Town Deal and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.
Cllr Jonathan Morgan is the Leader of Charnwood Borough Council and also co-chair of the Loughborough Town Deal board. He said: “This milestone means most of the regeneration scheme is completed and you can already see the difference it has made. The area is a much nicer place to visit and spend time in.
“The Town Deal’s funding has allowed this high-quality street scene to be expanded into a larger area.”
Andy Reed OBE, interim Chair of the LLEP Board, said: "We know that town centres were impacted significantly by the pandemic, both in terms of reduced footfall and in the shift to online shopping.
"By investing for the long-term in the revitalisation of our public places, while also improving access for pedestrians, we can support local businesses while meeting the sustainability goals of our wider Economic Growth Strategy."
Work started on The Bedford Square Gateway project in early 2021. The final phase of the scheme is underway and will see the paving improved around the car park in the south part of Bedford Square.
The Council has supported local businesses during the scheme through promotion of the area, the Ward’s End Quarter High Street Boost scheme, and offering up to an hour’s free parking up at Beehive Lane Car Park which comes to an end on May 31.
For more information on the scheme, visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/bedfordsquare.