Improvement works to the Marlowes pedestrianised shopping area are due to resume next Tuesday, January 6 as Dacorum Borough Council’s £30 million Hemel Evolution regeneration programme gears up for 2015.
After a pause to minimise disruption over the Christmas and New Year period, construction by council contractors Greenford Ltd is moving on to the area between the Rainbow Memorial and Bridge Street.
The work has been welcomed by directors of the Marlowes and Riverside shopping centres, as well as Marks & Spencer’s commercial manager Abdul Johir who said: ““My team are pleased with the overall result of the works and look forward eagerly to the eventual completion of the works.
“For local business the space created will be great as it gives Hemel a platform to host events regularly. This will and should become a great footfall driver for the Marlowes and Hemel.”
Vince Williams, Centre Director of the Marlowes Shopping Centre and member of the Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Partnership, said: “As a major stakeholder in the town you always get a bit wary when works to the public realm are being planned, even more so when it is just before our busiest trading period.
“Not only did they finish the first phase ahead of schedule, they are to a very high standard and it is looking fantastic. I have no concerns at all, about next years phased works, despite them covering a much larger area.”
The Riverside’s centre manager David Robinson said: “Any investment in public realm is a welcome boost to the local economy so it was extremely pleasing to see modernisation works start in the town centre during September.
“Now that Phase 1 of the works are complete we can start to see how the town centre will look next year and hopefully help to attract further investment. We hope that a new modern town centre will help Hemel to compete with other towns and attract additional shoppers and potential new retailers to add to our strong retail offer.”
The latest phase of the project involves creating a new events space with a canopy, an interactive fountain and digital screen as well as new toilets and bus ticketing booth outside Boots.