3:35pm Thursday 24th January 2013
By Lizzie Anderson
WORK on the eagerly anticipated £2m makeover of Newton Aycliffe town centre is likely to start within two weeks.
The makeover, which is expected to start on February 4, will see the unsightly concrete ramp linking Upper and Lower Beveridge Way demolished, along with the ramp linking Upper Beveridge Way to the car park and the spiral staircase.
Heavy shop canopies, existing trees and street furniture will also be removed and the concrete paving flags will be taken up in stages.
In its place, Freshwater, the company that owns Aycliffe Shopping Centre, will create a clean and pleasant open plan shopping area, incorporating attractive street furniture, artwork and trees.
There will also be improved street lighting, a new spiral staircase, further refurbishment work to retail units and the relocation of Coffee Pronto to a ground floor unit.
Work is scheduled for completion in November.
Town centre manager Bryan Haldane said the team was excited to see their plans come to fruition.
“At a time when town centre retailing has been under pressure nationally and major retail chains are closing the landlords have demonstrated their continued commitment to Newton Aycliffe by pressing ahead with major projects such as these,” he said.
Mr Haldane said management were working with existing tenants to ensure they benefit from the improvements, adding: "We have had enormous support from Durham County Council, our local MP Phil Wilson and the retailers all of whom are very keen for the works to get underway
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