BUSINESSES in an East Lancashire village are looking forward to seeing the full impact of the smart new high-quality paving being installed on their high street later this week.

Work is nearing completion on the improvements being carried out on King Street in Whalley by Lancashire County Council, which have been ongoing since early March.

Attractive sandstone paving, edged with granite along the kerbs, has been installed between the junctions of Accrington Road and Woodlands Drive.

The work has also involved widening the pavements, particularly outside businesses which have outdoor seating, and in the vicinity of the zebra crossing, to reduce the distance people have to cross the road.

The zebra crossing has also been moved further away from the junction with George Street by five metres to improve safety.

It has been funded through the planning process as a result of contributions agreed with two housing developers towards improving highways and transport in the local area.

County Councillor Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "I'd like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience and support while these improvements have been ongoing over the past few months, as I know it has been disruptive at times.

"We're now very close to seeing the finished result in full, and I hope everyone will agree that Whalley looks better than ever, with the new paving really adding to the look and feel of the village centre, helping to make this a place where residents and visitors want to spend time and money, and businesses feel confident investing in their future."

County Councillor Ged Mirfin, who represents the area as a county councillor, said: "These improvements will make Whalley an even better place to live, visit and do businesses, and show the value of councils working closely together to secure investment and ensure that new developments make a real and lasting contribution which benefits all local residents."

Simon Kerins of Athertons Estate Agents, which administers Whalley Chamber of Trade, added: "Whalley is a very special place and we're proud to live and work here.

"The last three months have presented a challenge to residents and businesses alike, but we've come through that with great tenacity and are now ready to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee at the end of next week.

"That will give everybody an opportunity to show off Whalley in all its glory with the bunting, floral displays and other wonderful activities which are planned within the village.

"Improving the quality of the roads and access in Whalley is something which has been an issue for some time and, now that the work is close to completion, I have no doubt that it will make the village much more accessible for residents, businesses and consumers alike.

"Many people come into Whalley from outside the area and I think they'll be pleasantly surprised at the difference these improvements have made."