Council commits £300k to improve Covingham Square and Liden Centre
Village centres to get £1m makeover
NEARLY £1m is to be spent on bringing six outdated village centres into the 21st century.
Residents will be consulted on how to best use the cash, which will mainly be for things such as paving, benches, cycle racks, trees and signage.
Council leader Rod Bluh said: “This is part of our ongoing programme to improve the look of all our village centres, some of which are beginning to look a bit tired.
“And we want to improve them for the benefit of those residents using the village centres to enhance the areas, to improve trade and community pride.
“The message is we want to improve the look of the village centres, we accept they’re 30 years old and they need improving to raise the quality of the environment in the area, and we want local people to participate in the discussions of what would get the best result and what they want to see.”
“It could be a piece of street art, it could be new paving, new trees, more benches. Just basically smartening it up, giving it a 2012 look rather than a 1980s look.”
Swindon Council’s cabinet approved plans on Wednesday night to spend £450,000 on the project in each of the next two financial years.
The full council will be asked to make the final decision on February 23.
Coun Bluh said each centre had been provisionally allocated £150,000, although they might get more or less depending on their needs.
He said the community consultation would start as soon as possible after full council, with the aim of work beginning next financial year.
Brian Osbourn, chairman of Covingham Parish Council, welcomed the money, saying that the parish council and Coun Dale Heenan(Con, Covingham and Nythe) had been working together to improve Covingham Square.
He said the parish council had been calling for about eight years for the square to be repaved because the current cracked and uneven stones collect water when it rains.
“It will be marvellous because at the moment Covingham parish looks after the parks and everything and that comes out of our budget, but there’s a lot of improvements we would like such as the paving in Covingham Square,” he said.
“The paving in Covingham Square is uneven. It floods regularly and that’s because of the state of the paving in the square.
“So it would be lovely if that was refurbished. We have done the car park and we’ve done the greenery in Covingham Square so just to finish it off with paving would be absolutely beautiful.”