A BUSY shopping street in the centre of Worcester is “letting the city down”, a senior city politician has said.
Worcester City Council leader Cllr Simon Geraghty was speaking at a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, July 29, where members agreed to plough an extra £65,000 into a project revamping the Angel Place market.
The cash will come from the £2.6 million government windfall the council received at the end of last year as part of the New Homes Bonus.
The £550,000 project, which is being run alongside CrownGate owners The Crown Estate and Worcestershire County Council, will see the run-down market area given a facelift over a three-month period in the hope it would become more attractive to passers-by.
Cllr Geraghty said he was pleased the area was being spruced up.
“At the moment I think Angel Place lets the city down,” he said.
“It’s not the environment we would like and I am pleased this is coming forward.
“It’s a good, ambitious scheme.”
The Crown Estate has agreed to surrender its lease of the market to the council for the 10-week project to begin and the council is currently seeking a new company to take it over. Whichever company is awarded the contract, expected to commence in October, will also be handed the responsibility of running the Victorian Christmas Fair.
The revamp, set to get underway at the start of September, will see the current market units torn out and replaced with modern, moveable stands while the street area is repaved.
Cllr David Wilkinson presented the plans at Tuesday’s meeting, where he described it as “excellent”.
“I’m really pleased to see this coming forward and I support it,” he said.
Currently around 16 regular stallholders operate from Angel Place and the council is working on a plan to move them elsewhere so they can continue to work while the project is underway.
It is hoped the project will increase the amount of visitors to Worcester as well as the amount they spend, boost footfall through the city centre as well as help the marketplace to thrive.
The scheme also aims to ensure the market caters for all ages and demographics as well as helping new enterprises to get started.
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