Work on a £500,000 scheme to create a new public space in Burslem town centre will start in spring - improving the area for shoppers, visitors and businesses.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is carrying out the development in Market Place, next to Burslem Town Hall, which has now been occupied successfully by the Haywood Sixth Form Academy. The work will transform the area where the former Ceramica building once stood and create a new area capable of hosting community events.
The first phase of the work, which is expected to be given the go-ahead by the city council’s cabinet when it meets on Tuesday, January 17, will see new paving and benches fitted, trees planted, lighting improved and a toilet facility installed.
Councillor Jack Brereton, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “I’m very pleased we are now at a stage where we can give the go-ahead for this important scheme to get under way, which continues the rebirth of Burslem.
“The Town Hall is one of the city’s most iconic buildings and the arrival of the Haywood Academy in the building, which has brought with it more than 100 students, has breathed new life into the town. Now the Ceramica building has been demolished, Market Place needs a refresh, and this work will give it just that.
“Installing new, high quality public realm in Market Place will improve the appearance of the town centre, increase footfall and create a more welcoming environment, with a better overall experience for visitors.
“It is good to see Burslem going from strength to strength and this will help further increase confidence for potential investors who are looking at Burslem, and attract new businesses. The square will be capable of hosting small-scale public events, which will open up opportunities for groups in the town and create a focal point for the area.”
The work on phase one is expected to take up to 18 weeks to complete and will also see pay and display machines on Market Place brought back into use to improve the turnover of parking spaces for shoppers.
Phase two will be implemented when funding for it has been identified, and would see 20 additional parking spaces created in the upper part of the square.
Amanda Bromley, who launched Barewall Gallery in Burslem six years ago, has welcomed the improvements. She said: “Our
gallery overlooks Market Place so we are very keen to see the area being used again. It’s a space which is central to
the town and it’s good to hear the community will be able to use it for events. Burslem is on the up at the minute and
this work will add to that.”