Cash for town cen­tre re­vamp

Aldershot News & Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

A SCHEME worth mil­lions of pounds will ‘trans­form’ Alder­shot town cen­tre, but this is just one piece of the jig­saw to give the town a facelift.

Rush­moor Bor­ough Coun­cil’s cabi­net has ap­proved spend­ing £4.5 mil­lion on re­vamp­ing the main shop­ping ar­eas as well as cre­at­ing an am­phithe­atre stair­case lead­ing from the high street car park to the town cen­tre, clos­ing Bar­rack Road to traf­fic, widen­ing pave­ments and adding trees and street art.

The scheme will im­prove pedes­trian links with the Project Welles­ley site. Lo­cal en­ter­prise part­ner­ship En­ter­prise M3 has granted £3 mil­lion to the scheme, with an ad­di­tional £1.5 mil­lion from the coun­cil.

Welles­ley project man­ager Grainger will pay back £3 mil­lion in in­stal­ments as its 3,850 planned homes are sold.

Grainger’s devel­op­ment direc­tor John Beres­ford said the work was ‘one el­e­ment of a much wider strat­egy’ and tens of thou­sands of pounds were ear­marked to re­vamp sev­eral ar­eas of Alder­shot, in­clud­ing the rail­way sta­tion ap­proach and the junc­tion at the bot­tom of Hos­pi­tal Hill.

“We wanted to do these things up front and early and get Alder­shot spick and span,” he said. “Mak­ing it an at­trac­tive place for peo­ple to want to live is very im­por­tant.

“Giv­ing Alder­shot a new lick of paint was low down on our pri­or­ity list to use re­sources for, but what this does is gets that work done and we pay it back on the drip. This is a se­ries of dif­fer­ent events that will be trans­form­ing Alder­shot.”

If more de­tailed plans are ap­proved this au­tumn, the first two phases, in­volv­ing restora­tion of key build­ings, re-paving Union Street and Welling­ton Street and adding new street fur­ni­ture and light­ing, will be­gin next year and com­pleted by next summer.

Sub­se­quent phases will see sig­nage im­proved to en­cour­age peo­ple to visit dif­fer­ent parts of town, a new foot­way link be­tween the up­per decks of the High Street car park and Court Road, and Grosvenor Road be­com­ing a sin­gle lane to al­low eas­ier cross­ing.

Coun­cil leader Peter Moyle said: “We un­der­stand the is­sues fac­ing Alder­shot and see this phased ap­proach as the next part of Alder­shot’s re­gen­er­a­tion.”

A more im­me­di­ate ad­di­tion to the town cen­tre is Hamp­shire’s first Pound world shop, due to open in Welling­ton Street next Thurs­day. It re­places a fur­nish­ings shop that has moved into part of the for­mer Next in Union Street.

Fel­low dis­count shop B&M Bar­gains’ plans to open in The Ar­cade were an­nounced last De­cem­ber but a spokesman said this week a launch date was un­con­firmed.

Work to cre­ate the new slip road onto the A331 comes thanks to a sim­i­lar ad­vanced fund­ing agree­ment of around £10 mil­lion with the Lo­cal In­fra­struc­ture Fund. The work, which will in­clude widen­ing of Govern­ment Road, was pre­vi­ously not ex­pected to start un­til around 2023 but is now likely to get un­der way next year.

The town cen­tre plans will be dis­played in the Princes Hall and the Welling­ton Cen­tre from Au­gust 4 and in Mor­risons in West­gate and Alder­shot Pools from Au­gust 15 un­til the end of the month.

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