BUSINESS figures have spoken of their joy at the decision to press ahead with plans to renovate a busy town centre shopping street.
Montague Street, in Worthing town centre, is in-line for a £1 million re-design, after county councillors agreed to put the project on the council’s priority list.
The decision will see poorly-repaired and mismatched paving replaced, and new street furniture installed – subject to a public consultation.
Montague Street trader Paul O’Brien, who owns Candy Love, said: “Currently, it looks scruffy, and it’s not a good first impression.
“First impressions are everything, and at the moment it does not reflect our lovely town at all.”
The street sees a footfall of around six million a-year, making it the town’s busiest shopping area.
But several major brands, including Animal, have been put-off opening in the town due to the poor condition of the street.
Bryan Turner, Worthing Borough Council cabinet member for regeneration, said it was the right time to invest, in order to attract investors.
He said: “I am very happy with the decision to back the Montague Street scheme. We need this to go ahead for Worthing to be an attractive location for investors.”
He added: “The national economy is showing strong signs of growth, and confidence is returning. We need to invest now for the maximum return.”
Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce CEO Tina Tilley believes the plans will ‘perk-up’ the town centre.
She said: “If the town centre gets more run-down, the effect will be catastrophic. It will have an effect on jobs.
“The Montague Street scheme is a strong one.”
Artist impressions of what the street could look like have been drawn-up by architects ECE.
Worthing Town Centre Initiative is leading the public consultation, which is planned to begin in October.
The public will have an opportunity to have their say on two preferred designs.
Businesses have already expressed a preference, and the drawings will be released by the Herald at a later date.