With works underway on the third and final phase of a wider improvement scheme for the historic market town, Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry met with budding young artists from Romsey Abbey Church of England Primary School and The Romsey School who decorated boards that have been added to the statue’s protective hoardings.
Councillor Perry said: “With town centres at risk across the county, we are investing in Romsey for the future. It is good to see the work in Market Place is coming along apace. The York Stone paving and granite drainage channels have been completed along the western footway from the TSB bank up to Kitchenhaus and is progressing along the footpath towards the Archway.
“These improvements have been designed to enhance the environment and support the economic viability of Romsey’s historic town centre - while improving accessibility for all who come to the town. The Market Place works are the third and largest part of an overall enhancement project for Romsey Town Centre. Together with the two completed schemes in Church Street and Bell Street, the total investment in improvements in the town centre come to over £3million.”
Improvements to Church Street were completed in 2016 and to Bell Street last year.
The main element of the improvements is the large piazza style build out that encompasses the current Lord Palmerston Statue within the middle of Market Place to provide a new space for public events. The materials being used are complementary to the historic town centre. The scheme has also been designed to create a safer environment for all road users including pedestrians and cyclists.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport for Hampshire County Council said: “Going forward, the works programme will see the laying of the first section of buff coloured road surface in Market Place and surface water drainage will continue to be installed. Work will start on the ducts that will supply power to the Flambeau and Christmas tree socket situated south of Lord Palmerston. The site will also be prepared for the next phase of traffic management. I would like to reassure residents and business in Romsey that we will do all we can to keep disruption to a minimum during the works. Access for businesses will remain clear and all businesses will be open as usual.”
Knights Brown are carrying out the project on behalf of Hampshire County Council and, subject to weather and ground conditions, and the works are expected to be completed by summer 2019.
Test Valley Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Nick Adams-King, added: “The works to improve one of the most significant areas of Romsey is fantastic to see. As a historic market town, the regeneration of the town centre is a vital part of sustaining Romsey for the future and I’m very grateful to the County Council and those who are working on the redevelopment for all their efforts in making this happen.
Contractors will be on site from 0730-1800 hours Monday to Friday as well as some weekend working. Within the works programme there will be road closures and diversions in place for resurfacing works. Residents, businesses and all those affected will be notified of these situations in advance.