Droitwich High Street has been reopened to traffic, in time for the Christmas shopping rush, following the completion of an investment totalling £750,000.
Extensive improvements to the popular shopping area have been made by Worcestershire County Council, working in partnership with Wychavon District Council.
Severn Trent Water carried out major infrastructure improvements over the summer, which were necessary before the County Council could begin its improvement programme.
The public realm scheme included completely reconstructing and surfacing the road, the installation of new footways, the construction of blockwork gateway features at either end of the High Street, a raised crossing area for pedestrians and new street furniture.
The High Street remained open to shoppers throughout and the local authority partners offered discounted car parking business as usual signs, paid for social media advertising, full wraps for two newspapers promoting High St. businesses, prize giveaways (to give cash back to shops), online google tours of shops (and support/advice to those who needed it.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure for Worcestershire County Council said: "I am delighted that the work in Droitwich has been completed and that the High Street has re-opened to traffic in time for the Christmas rush. There is a fabulous range of independent traders in the High Street and the improvements we have made have dramatically improved the shopping environment. We appreciate that the work was disruptive for businesses but it is essential that improvements of this kind are made if our local economies are to thrive and don't go into decline."
The improvements to Droitwich High Street are part of a countywide public realm programme being delivered by the County Council which has recently included schemes in Cathedral Square, the Cornmarket and Upper Broad Street in Worcester, Teme Street in Tenbury Wells, and Alcester Street in Redditch which is due for completion shortly.
Cllr Richard Morris, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Housing at Wychavon District Council said “It’s been a tough time for traders, but the works were essential and the High Street is looking great. It’s fantastic that the traders in the town are coming together to put on an extra event this weekend to enhance our seasonal calendar. We have some brilliant shops on offer and I’d encourage everyone to go along this weekend and check them out. Festive and long term support is what our High Street needs and there are so many brilliant shops on offer it isn’t hard to find an excuse to visit.”
A parking discount is still running in the town – customers who spend £10 will get £1 off their purchase by showing the refund section of their parking voucher. The offer is available to customers parking in Droitwich High Street or Ricketts Lane car parks. The offer is open until 24 December 2017 and participating retailers have signage in their windows. Wychavon are refunding businesses who take part.
Forthcoming schemes include the Shambles in Worcester and Worcester Street in Kidderminster.