Canterbury city centre in line for £630,000 revamp

Schemes have been put forward to rejuvenate the busiest street in Canterbury.

St George’s street will turn into a ‘tree-lined avenue’ if city councillors decide to go forward with the proposal of the £600,000 refurbishment, which will include new pavement, seating, trees and more.

Officials claim it ‘presents a poor impression that reflects badly on the city centre as a whole’ in their Facebook post, with the old fashioned paving being a ‘trip hazard’ to pensioners.

The decision is within the hands of the authority of the Policy & Resources Committee.

If they decide to proceed with the overhaul, then the 20 year old Canterbury market will be scrapped, with up to 40 stallholders losing their pitches. It has been considered that increased revenue will be achieved by closing the existing market and opening up the available space in an improved street layout.

Ben Fitter-Harding, a councillor in the Policy & Resources Committee said that investment into the city centre is important.

“I do think that this is important and that it will be a huge benefit to Canterbury. It’s important to invest into the our city as it will bring in more tourists and shoppers and make it a better place”, he said.

“It’s a difficult one with the market because it’s needs to move for the 6 month period of work. Saying that, it doesn’t mean it can’t go somewhere else in Canterbury, we are just not certain on where yet. The market does need a future and I am interested to see the results of what will be decided.”

The renovation will take around 6 months, and will also consist of street lighting, cycle racks and public art, in the hopes of modernising the city to boost profits.

How St Georges street will look
Photo Credit: Canterbury City Council Facebook page

The poorly maintained block paving was installed in the 1980’s, with the tree roots causing a danger to the elderly.

85 year old Marina Walker from Littlebourne was in the city centre last week and voiced her opinion on the matter.

“I think it’s a good idea. When I’m walking I have to keep my eyes on the ground the whole time because my walker won’t go over the surface and it’s dangerous. I have to be very careful,” she said.

The appearance of St Georges street has been gradually declining for many years. Officials hope it will improve the quality and character of the street so that it is restored as one of Canterbury’s most prestigious areas for shopping and visiting.

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