WORK will start next week to install new lighting columns as part of a major revamp of Worcester’s High Street.

Contractors will start the project on Monday, digging a narrow trench in the centre of the pedestrianised area stretching from Pump Street to the Elgar statue.

The existing three columns will be replaced with four new ones, with the work set to be completed on July 5.

This is the first phase of a £300,000 revamp of the Cathedral Square area, jointly funded by Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council.

The new lights have been paid for by the city council and will be installed by the county council, and it is hoped they will give a boost to local businesses, especially during the autumn and winter months.

Ian Ryder, general manager at Zizzi restaurant, opposite Edgar’s statue, said: “We’re really pleased with the new lighting, which will accentuate this beautiful end of town and our setting beside the cathedral.”

John Kendrick, manager of Cathedral Plaza, said: “I am pleased that the refurbishment of this end of High Street is now being done and I’m pleased that there will be new lighting in place.”

A spokesperson for clothing retailer White Stuff said: “The renewed High Street lighting will not only improve the look and ambiance around the White Stuff shop but it will be of great benefit during the winter months for shippers wanting to grab some fantastic pieces.”

Councillor Geoff Williams, city council’s cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: “This is a great first step in regenerating this part of High Street and I hope it will provide a boost for local businesses.”

A liaison officer will on site throughout the 10-day installation period to deal with any issues that businesses and shippers may have.

The next stage of the project will be a major repaving programme, starting in September.