In the Market for a revamp

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LARGE-scale plans for a £2 million revamp of Boston’s historic Market Place are to go ahead after winning the approval of the public.

The proposed overhaul which aims to make the town centre more attractive to shoppers received a largely positive response after planners went to traders, businesses and residents for their views.

Work on the Lincolnshire County Council-led scheme will now start at the beginning of July and is expected to be completed within six to eight months.

Amanda Bond, senior development officer in Lincolnshire County Council’s economic regeneration development department, said: “We thank everyone who let us know their views and are thrilled at the response to the consultation; now we look forward to starting work on creating a more thriving Market Place for the benefit of traders and shoppers alike.”

At the heart of the project is the reduction of the number of parking spaces to create a shared space for pedestrians, outdoor events, mini-markets and outdoor eating.

The consultation found 52 per cent to be in favour of the ideas for the Market Place overall and 28 per cent against. However, of the 406 surveys received just 10 per cent were from business owners and 90 per cent from residents.

Miss Bond warned both groups to expect ‘inevitable disruption’ during the work, funded by Lincolnshire County Council, Boston Borough Council, the European Development Fund, plus money from the former Boston Area Regeneration Company.

“Both the county and borough councils will keep businesses regularly updated on progress throughout,” she added.

Further details on what steps are being taken to minimise the impact of the scheme will follow in next week’s Standard.

Lincolnshire County Council has also announced plans to spend £600,000 on a replacement footbridge at the heart of the town.

The authority aims to improve access between the bus station and the Market Place following a successful bid for European funding.

The proposed replacement to St Botolph’s Bridge will go to consultation in June and is hoped to be in place by December 2013.

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