Barkingside High Street regeneration plans revealed

Steve Eaton, John Sharrock and Allan Howe of the Better Barkingside project

Steve Eaton, John Sharrock and Allan Howe of the Better Barkingside project

First published in News by

DETAILED plans for the regeneration of a town centre have been unveiled.

It is hoped the £2.1million project in High Street, Barkingside, will breath life into the area by making it a more attractive place to visit.

Architect David Knight of DK-CM provided residents and traders artist impressions of what the area will look like when work is completed in March 2014.

The unused area around Fullwell Cross library will be opened up and the cobbled space removed to provide room for markets and performances.

Chairman of the Barkingside Traders' Association and owner of Eaton Hair in High Street, Steve Eaton, welcomed the proposal.

He said: "Trade is very much up and down at the moment, hopefully things will start looking up for us now.

"I think the regeneration will be really good and will help businesses down our end of the high street."

Azhar Iqbal of pet shop Catwalk, also in High Street, said: "This is very much needed for Barkingside.

"As long as security and lighting is taken into account and the new open area doesn't become a haven for idiots to hang out it will be a good thing."

Traders hope the work will attract big high street names to the area and encourage people to start spending more time on their local high street.

The project is funded by a £1.9million grant from the Greater London Authority and a £200,000 contribution from Redbridge Council.

Community group Barkingside 21 has worked closely with the council on the plans.

Chairman John Sharrock said: "The regeneration is going to make Barkingside much better.

"Whether people will actually come is yet to be seen.

"What puts people off is the cost of parking, I think people will still go to Hainault given the choice."

WI-FI is to be introduced into the area by the library, as well as additional seating and a covered area for audiences.

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