Cheltenham's Promenade set for massive re-paving overhaul
FAMOUS for its Georgian architecture, Cheltenham is widely regarded as one of the UK's prettiest places to visit.
But keeping the Regency town looking its best is a costly affair.
Cheltenham Borough Council will spend £100,000 of taxpayer's cash in 2013/14 to help repave the west Promenade, opposite the shops.
This comes after the authority contributed £145,000 to help give east Promenade a smooth new pavement last year.
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Both of the revamp projects are the overall responsibility of Gloucestershire County Council but the borough council has dipped into its own funds to make sure the area is done just right.
Councillor John Rawson (LD, St Peters), cabinet member for finance, said: "The money comes from our Civic Pride reserve, which has been built up over the years from past underspends and sales of property.
"The county council is responsible for pavement maintenance, but what we are doing is to top up the county expenditure to achieve a higher standard of work than we could achieve from routine maintenance." Mr Rawson said the council's decision to pay a little bit extra to go above and beyond 'routine' work had positive results, particularly from traders on Cheltenham's "premier shopping street".
He said: "The work we are proposing to carry out this year on the west side is badly needed, as the pavement is very uneven and the paving is patched with tarmac – not the standard you want in Cheltenham's premier shopping street."
The west Promenade sees less footfall than the east, but with walkers bypassing the shops, people using the taxi rank and shoppers navigating the frequently-visiting farmers' market, the route is an important link between the town centre and Montpellier.
The company which runs the farmers' market, Grenchurch Ltd, has applied to trade on the pedestrian area outside Cavendish House while the work is carried out. The date for the work is yet to be set in stone.
As well as the refurbishment of the Promenade, the borough council has announced plans to extend the work other areas.
Mr Rawson added: "The work is part of a longer-term programme of pavement improvements that we hope will extend to the High Street, the area around St Mary's and the North Place area in due course."