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High Street spruce could boos

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 10, 2014

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A MAJOR makeover is set to begin along Burton’s High Street, in an attempt to attract developers to the site of the former Bargates shopping centre.

Scaffolding will go up on the first shops at the top end of High Street on Monday, as contractors Harvey and Clark begin work to continue the Inner Burton Initiative and improve the offering of this part of town.

All businesses along the stretch – running from Haynes to Spirit Games - will be open as usual throughout the work, which is due to last until October.

Paul Costiff, head of built environment at East Staffordshire Borough Council, which is behind the work, told the Mail: “We want to enhance this gateway area opposite Bargates as, at the moment, it’s difficult to find a developer that will deliver the quality of design we are looking for. This will demonstrate to developers how serious we are about this area.”

The £681,678 project, which has been funded by a Government grant is the latest in a number of schemes to spruce up the gateways to the town, and follows work on houses in Waterloo Street, Derby Street and Byrkley Street.

Improvements in this area have been in the pipeline since Bargates was demolished several years ago.

The site has been earmarked for a development including housing, shops and bars and restaurants, which could provide a ‘cafe culture’ feel for the area leading to the Washlands.

Mr Costiff said he hoped it would fit in well with the existing street scene.

“It’s a lovely street. It’s got the right address, and it’s got great regeneration potential. We feel this will give us a great opportunity to showcase the site, and we can’t just sit back and do nothing. We need to work hard to achieve the eventual aim,” he added.

All of the businesses have been consulted over the plans for their frontages, with each of the 24 businesses wanting to retain their identity during the refurbishment.

Steve Potts, company director at Harvey and Clark, said: “It will lift the shop fronts and get them back to their former glory.”

Businesses have previously welcomed the move, saying they hope it will bring people to that part of town.

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