A project to refurbish the pavements on Tunstall’s High Street has got under way – as work continues on the restoration of the town’s historic town hall.
The city council is reconstructing the pavements on both sides of High Street, from the junction with Williamson Street to the roundabout at the top end. The work will see the pavements resurfaced with Tarmac, apart from the area outside Tunstall Town Hall where the existing Yorkstone paving will remain. Any damaged signs or street furniture and unnecessary ‘street clutter’ will also be removed.
The pavement work is estimated to take up to six weeks to complete, with a significant amount of the work expected to be completed ahead of the reopening of non-essential retails shops on June 15 as part of the Government’s plan to ease lockdown measures. The road will be closed throughout the scheme with a diversion in place, with the exception of deliveries and northbound buses. The southbound buses are being diverted, and a shuttle bus is in place to operate the bus stops outside Asda Tunstall to Tunstall police station for the full duration of the scheme.
Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for infrastructure, regeneration, and heritage, said: “This is something the traders on High Street have previously asked for and I’m pleased we’ve now started the work. The project will coincide with the planned reopening of shops and businesses this month, and hopefully it will provide a little timely boost as the economy starts to get back to its feet. The council budget we agreed in March will see a large number of roads and pavements repaired and resurfaced as we improve the city’s transport network over the next four years, which we know is a top priority for a lot of our residents.”
Meanwhile, work has been continuing throughout the lockdown on the restoration of the Town Hall in line with Government guidelines on coronavirus and construction, with social distancing being applied on site. The building is being brought back to life to attract more people into the town, and support the existing businesses. Once the work is finished, the building, which has been vacant for around 20 years, will house council staff, a children’s centre, local centre and library. The public will once again be able to access the hall through the main doors.
Scaffolding has been put up inside and outside the building so work can take place to repair the roof, windows and brickwork and make the building watertight. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2021, with the building reopening to the public in summer 2021.
Cllr Jellyman added: “The work to restore Tunstall Town Hall follows on from the recently completed scheme to bring Longton Town Hall back to life, which has had a positive impact on the building, the adjoining indoor market and the town centre as a whole. These are two good examples of how we are protecting our city’s heritage by investing in historic buildings and giving them modern day purposes where residents can access services.
“Bringing this magnificent building in the heart of Tunstall’s High Street back to life will give the area a big boost, and the work to refurbish the pavements will complement the scheme. We’re also planning to renew the road surface on High Street at a future date.”
Kaz Green, manager at the ExtraCare Charitable Trust shop on High Street, said: “We get a lot of elderly customers so having newly resurfaced pavements will really benefit them and it will improve the appearance of the area in general. It’s good to see improvements on High Street and the work to restore the Town Hall is fantastic. It’s a beautiful building which I personally have a lot of memories of from when I was younger, and having it restored and open to the public again will give the town a boost and give people a reason to visit Tunstall.”
For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.