£1.8m Freeman Street enhancement scheme given mixed response from shoppers and traders
THE future is bright for Freeman Street thanks to a new £1.8 million enhancement scheme.
Work is due to start in March to resurface Grimsby's famous street and redesign footpaths, and new lighting will be installed.
The proposal, drawn up by Balfour Beatty Working Partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council, was outlined to shoppers and traders in a public display at Freeman Street Market.
The latest plans are the first stage in a neighbourhood development framework created by NELC two years ago.
That vision, which was announced in September 2010, as reported, included major demolition work and the creation of continental-style piazzas.
These latest plans have overtaken the previous £5.7 million vision and had a mixed response from staff and shoppers.
They welcomed some of the plans, which include improvements to Duncombe Street car park and improved footpaths from the car park to Freeman Street.
About 15 per cent of the money will go towards improving shop fronts.
The scheme aims to improve the look of the streets from Hainton Square and Nelson Street to the north, and is expected to create a focal point for economic and community activity. NELC is working in partnership with the Enrolled Freemen and Shoreline Housing Partnership.
Jason Longhurst, head of development for North East Lincolnshire Council said: "We are delighted that we have reached this stage in the regeneration of Freeman Street.
"The whole regeneration project will create a visible positive change for Freeman Street, addressing both the physical and economic deterioration of the area."
He said views of residents were welcomed and people can log them by visiting www.nelincs.gov.uk
Following this, a detailed design for the scheme will be drawn up. As yet, no decision has been taken about the materials to be used to enhance the footpaths.
At the display of the plan, concerns were raised about removing car parking outside the market.
The footpaths outside the market and across the road will be widened, with extra parking provided further along the street.
Phyllis O'Connell, of Richard's Shoe Repairs, said: "It is a good plan, but to widen the footpaths would be a waste of time. I don't think traders will take their barrows out on to the street.
"It is the market that brings people down here and I am really disappointed they are planning to take parking away from the front of the market. That is not good for the elderly people.
"I would like to see a speed restriction and there needs to be a crossing from the market to the bus stop opposite."
Edward Guyton, of Teddy's card and gift shop, said: "I am against it. It is a waste of public money. We have already fought to ensure you can get an hour's free parking on the front and now they are trying to take it away.
"It is fair enough wanting to improve it for customers, but we need them to be able to park up and rush round and pick up their cards, flowers and gifts and maybe a bit of meat and do it quickly. I am worried about losing the parking."
What do you think?
Once you have told the council what you think about the plan, let us know too by e-mailing email@example.com or by commenting on this story.