SHOPS and businesses in the centre of an East Lancashire market town will remain open as usual during a major set of roadworks which will close its main street.

Ribble Valley Council's leader Cllr Stephen Atkinson has given the assurance as the authority prepares to shut Castle Street completely on Monday for three months.

The closure is to allow a £600,000 revamp of the key road to take place and has already received a mixed reaction from residents and visitors.

Work focusing on improvements to Castlegate, including the creation of a loading bay, has already started.

From Monday April 29, Castle Street will be closed to vehicles until the scheme is finished at the end of July in time for the Clitheroe Food Festival on Saturday, August 10.

But pedestrian access will be maintained at all times and there will be access periods for shop deliveries.

The scheme is a collaboration between Lancashire County Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council aimed at making Castle Street more accessible and attractive.

It features the widening of pavements, new paving and street furniture, along with some changes to parking.

Cllr Atkinson said: “People have told us for many years that they want to see these town centre improvements and we are delighted that this scheme is finally going ahead.

“We have received largely positive feedback about it following the drop-in session and there is clearly a public wish for this work to be done.

“There will be some disruption while we carry out these improvements, which we acknowledge may cause inconvenience to businesses and customers, but we will do our best to keep this to a minimum, while maintaining full access to businesses.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and would like to thank everyone for their patience.”

Lancashire County Council's highways boss Cllr Rupert Swarbrick said: “I am looking forward as much as anyone to seeing the difference these improvements will make to how the town centre will look and feel.

“Some level of disruption is inevitable during this type of work, but we will be doing all we can to keep it to a minimum and ensure Clitheroe remains open for business.

“I would ask everyone to continue visiting the town centre and support their local shops over the coming weeks.”