The town centre will take on the feel of a tree-lined avenue and there will be a striking public garden created as part of the project, which has taken its theme from the Old English name for Bamber Bridge ‘brycg’ which translates to ‘tree bridge’.
An iconic “warm welcome to Bamber Bridge” sign – made by the creators of the celebrated new WWI war memorial in Lostock Hall – will be erected near to the motorway junction as motorists enter the town.
As the central focal point of the scheme, the public garden will also feature a landmark iron tree sculpture made from different metals, which will change in colour as it weathers over time.
There will also be major upgrades to Station Road, with wider footpaths, enhanced crossings and more on-street parking, making it a more pedestrian-friendly area.
Specially-designed bus stops and benches will fit in with the historical theme of the scheme.
Work began this week, starting with the erection of the welcome sign and community garden. Improvements to the roads and pavements are due to start in October.
The impressive scheme is funded by the £434m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, a government-backed programme which aims to boost the area’s economy, generating new jobs, improved communities and new homes.
Councillor Phil Smith, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member with responsibility for Regeneration and Leisure, said: “I am really excited to see the first spade in the ground on these wonderful improvements in Bamber Bridge.
“This project will benefit businesses, residents and visitors to the area and we’ve consulted widely to make sure we’re spending the money on what people want.
“The local economy has already been boosted before the work has even begun, with interest being shown in opening new shops in the town.
“Improving our town and village centres has long been a top priority for the council, but thanks to funding from the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, we’ve been able to deliver a really imaginative super scheme on a scale of which the town has never before seen.
“Using the town’s history as a focal point makes this project all the more special, and I hope locals take a sense of pride and of ownership in their new town centre.
“These are exciting times indeed for Bamber Bridge and I can’t wait to see our vision become a reality.”
The Bamber Bridge improvements have been designed to be dementia friendly with upgraded signage, a sensory garden and seating area.
A full public consultation has already been undertaken, with the feedback being used to help shape the plans.
County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is the first stage of a great project that will transform the centre of Bamber Bridge. In the middle of October the county council’s highways team will start work on improvements to the roads and pavements through the town centre.
“All of these improvements aim to make it a more inviting place for people to live, shop and work. We’re proud to be investing in local centres through City Deal. By improving the area, we’re helping people to get around easily and making it more attractive for local residents, visitors and businesses.”
The City Deal is an agreement between the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, along with central government and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).Uncategorised