A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in Shrewsbury today to officially mark the end of the town centre Pride Hill enhancement work.
The work was declared complete by Martin Wood, Shrewsbury’s town crier, before the ribbon was cut by Councillor Ann Hartley, chairman of Shropshire Council.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury BID, Shrewsbury Town Council and McPhillips.
The enhancement work began in April 2018 and was due to be completed in November that year, but delays by the original contractor meant the project came in for much criticism by traders and pedestrians.
McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd was then appointed by Shropshire Council to take over and complete the project with work restarting in February this year.
The work was carried out as part of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package and included resurfacing the pedestrianised area with high-quality materials to reinforce the character of the street, replacing street furniture and reducing street clutter and improving pedestrian connections at either end of the street. The setting of High Cross was also enhanced as part of the work.
New “social-style” seating which is designed to encourage people to enjoy spending more time in the town centre has proved popular.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“As the primary shopping street in the town centre, the upgrading of Pride Hill is key to improving the public and urban realm for Shrewsbury. We thank businesses, traders and the public for their patience and understanding while this important work was carried out.
“We fully acknowledge that the work has taken longer than was originally planned, and it’s well known that we took the difficult decision to change contractors because the initial delivery of the scheme this year was not what was expected. In spite of this, the Council prioritised the quality of the completed scheme with the change of contractors, and is now delighted that this decision has been vindicated with the ‘new Pride Hill’ area.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with the quality of work and business engagement carried out by our new contractor, McPhillips. People will see a significant and notable improvement now that the work is complete and we’ve already had a lot of positive comments.”