THE recently finished pedestrianisation of a town centre has been described as 'clean and modern' by a council leader.

Shoppers can now walk through Burnley town centre with ease following months of disruption while the £3.95million work took shape.

The work, which was jointly funded by Lancashire County Council has involved refurbishing pedestrianised sections of St James's Street and Hammerton Street, as well as resurfacing worn-out paving and replacing benches and planters.

Concerns had previously been raised the work would not be completed in time for Christmas

Cllr Mark Townsend, Burnley Council's leader, said: "The town centre looks really good.

"It's clean and modern and we've had some really positive feedback from the public.

"I'd like to thank shoppers and businesses for their patience while this vital work has been going on."

The council was made to pay an extra £325,000 towards the bill after increased costs were imposed by Lancashire County Council.

County Hall bosses said the extra money was needed due to increases in material costs, changes to the scope and the design of the work and extra drainage work.

Michael and Debra Kelly, who recently opened a café-bistro in St James Street, said: "As a new business in the town centre we welcome the amazing improvements that have been made.

"The centre looks amazing and we at Kellys Café & Bar look forward to enhancing the new feel of the town."

The town centre refurbishment has included new paving, seats, planters, trees and other street furniture.

Cllr Lian Pate, executive member for community services, said: "We've been keeping a close eye on the town centre improvements as they've progressed and it's great to see them finally coming to completion.

"They show the council's commitment to boosting the local economy by bringing in more visitors and shoppers to the town.

"The fact the council is prepared to invest in our town centre is a vote of confidence in its future and has helped attract further investment from private companies such as Primark, who we look forward to welcoming to Burnley in 2018."

Town leaders had previously said visitors to Burnley would see a 'top quality' pedestrianised zone ideal to welcome festive shoppers.

Brian Hobbs, president of Burnley Chamber of Trade, said: "What with the Christmas lights and the smart new town centre, Burnley looks as brilliant as it really is."