Work starts in March on a major £2 million scheme to improve the high street environment in Prestwich village.

The aim is to benefit shoppers, businesses, pedestrians and residents by creating a lively high street, along with measures to tackle congestion.

The scheme will include enhanced paving and street lighting and also environmental enhancements with the planting of street trees and improved drainage.

There will be changes to the main road too, including single lane traffic with wider pavements, permanent parking bays, new bus lay-bys, bus stop relocation, and new cycle lanes.

The council is providing £1.5 million of the improvement money, with a further £500,000 coming from Transport for Greater Manchester.

Work will begin with trial excavation works in March, with the main works getting under way in April and expected to take 35 weeks to complete. It is being carried out by Rochdale-based contractors J. Cooney Ltd, who have undertaken public realm improvements in both Rochdale and Altrincham.

Generally, work will take place between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturday.

Although some disruption is unavoidable, the council will try to keep this to a minimum. To do so, on occasion some works will take place on Sundays and evenings.

The scheme has been hailed by Muse Developments, who are drawing up plans to transform the Longfield centre on behalf of its owners the Hollins Murray Group.

Phil Mayall, development director at Muse Developments, said: “We very much welcome these critical improvements to the local infrastructure. We are continuing to assess plans for the future regeneration of the Longfield shopping centre, and it is well proven that raising the quality of the surrounding environment enhances the prospect of delivering an exciting, viable development.”

St.Mary’s ward Councillor Jane Black said:

“The Prestwich High Street Improvement scheme will bring much needed investment to the very heart of Prestwich. Council leadership has successfully brought together significant investment for this project from a range of partners. The final scheme incorporates many suggestions from an extended consultation period, and has been welcomed by many local residents and businesses. It includes better lighting, new off-road bus and parking bays and street trees which will improve road drainage.


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