THE new deputy mayor for Uttoxeter has said a big focus will be on the ‘street scene’ of Uttoxeter in the coming months.
New planters and more benches for the elderly will ‘lift’ the image of the town centre, alongside the revamp of the Maltings.
Andrew Riley said: “I want to focus on the street scene. The revamp of the Maltings is very imminent but to what scale I am not sure yet.
“I want to see more planters around the place, really lift the look of the high street which will hopefully attract more retailers.
“Myself and the mayor want to focus on regenerating the street scene and we think that will start to happen especially seeing as East Staffordshire Borough Council are sorting the town centre bollard again, which should improve the high street.
“In the long term I’d like to redecorate the area outside the town hall, and redistribute the seating from the town hall so that the elderly have a choice of places to sit down whilst doing their shopping.
“Vandalism is also a problem at the moment for the benches as the number of benches and railings outside the town hall attract mainly groups of teenagers.
“However it is a popular seating area during the day so we would leave some benches there.
“It’s not just vandals but general wear and tear that has made them in need of replacement.
“It’s an important issue that has been raised a lot.
“These improvements combined with the revamp of the Maltings will really lift the high street.
“So far shop fronts have been cleaned, old posters taken down and old signage taken down so that’s a step forward and we are very much looking forward to the improvements.”
During the next six months the Maltings shopping centre is to see improvements and the new plans are set to be unveiled in a few weeks’ time.
Malcolm Barrett, director of MJ Barrett Group which owns the Maltings, confirmed the refurbishment was to take place.
News of the improvements have been welcomed by town councillors and traders.
Councillor Martin Blencowe, representative for Uttoxeter for the Four Towns Initiative tourism group said: “I am very pleased to hear that there is to be a refurbishment of the Maltings.
“It completes the redevelopment of the town centre, from the Asda car park through to the shopping centre, and will hopefully encourage people to use the high street more in between.”
David Hunter, owner of Indulgence Coffee Lounge, said: “We welcome an update to the Maltings that makes it a more inviting retail experience for shoppers.
“We look forward to the opportunity it will provide to new and existing town traders.”