Portsmouth’s Commercial Road shopping precinct is set to undergo a £300,000 facelift to improve its appearance, and to declutter the shopping high street.
Portsmouth City Council will be removing the five ‘senses’ sculptures and some of the wooden tree planters to make it easier for people to move around the pedestrian area.
The work will also involve moving some of the wooden seats, with all benches being refurbished.
Following this, new stone paving will be introduced at both ends of the precinct, and some new trees will be planted. Bike racks and sign posts will be moved to maximise open space.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “While we have aspirations for a new development, that won’t happen overnight, and in the meantime it is important we ensure we are making the most of what we have.
“Commercial Road is an important shopping area for the city and this will make it a more enjoyable place for everyone to use.”
The project will be carried out in two phases, with a break in the middle to avoid disruption during the busy Christmas shopping period.
The removal of the sculpture and tree planets and the seat refurbishment will begin on Monday 3rd October, and will take around a month. Work on the new paving will take place in the new year.
Rhoda Joseph, centre director for Cascades Shopping Centre, said: “Cascades is delighted to see the improvements presented to the City Centre Association taking shape as planned.
“These works to declutter the precinct will improve the appearance of the external shopping area and make it a better place for shoppers to browse, to meet their friends and to shop.”
The work will be conducted by T Loughman Ltd., a contractor with a track record of delivering improvements to shopping areas following projects in Hemel Hempstead and Wandsworth.
Adrian Loughman, T Loughman Ltd.’s director, said: “We’re really looking forward to starting our first project in Portsmouth.
“Our company has worked on shopping areas across the country and can see the potential Commercial Road has to look really good. I’m sure everyone will see a positive difference once we’ve finished.”