A project to improve a rundown shopping precinct in Witham has resulted in a much more attractive area to live and shop.
The work, funded by Braintree District Council and Greenfields Community Housing, has given the area better lighting, an attractive courtyard and more and bigger parking spaces.
Braintree District Council has worked in close consultation with those who live and work nearby in order to make sure the changes work for those who use the area the most.
During two formal consultations the community said they wanted to see improvements to the parking, visual appearance and the feeling of safety.
What was a grey concreted area with concrete bollards has been transformed into an attractive courtyard complemented with trees found locally such as acers and gleditsia.
A parking area has been created at the front of the Spa Road shops which gives shoppers a more convenient experience and encourages more passing trade for the parade of shops which include The Co-op, Boots, Spa Fish and Chips, 2nd Time Around, Witham Barber and Abbronzatura Tanning and Nails.
The creation of a car park to the front of the shops has meant that the car park to the side of the shops has been revised to work better for local residents and parents dropping their children at the two nearby schools.
In total there are 21 extra car parking spaces including six bays for blue badge holders, bringing the total spaces to 74 parking bays. The previous car park had 53 smaller spaces and no disabled parking.
Cllr Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Place at Braintree District Council, said: “This area was in need of some love and attention and I am thrilled with the results. The whole area looks much more inviting and it is now a place residents and businesses can feel proud of.”
Diane Foley, Head of Neighbourhoods at Greenfields, said: “This project is a fantastic way to improve the lives of people living in the area and we’re so pleased to be part of it. We urge any of our residents to contact us with suggested improvements to their own communities.”
Find out about funding opportunities through Greenfields by clicking on this link: Funding opportunities