The High Street end of the Cornhill has gone from a shabby-looking area with mis-matched paving into a place where people want to sit and relax, thanks to a £1m revamp.
The City of Lincoln Council installed a new natural stone floor and benches to create an attractive public square suitable for events, performances, outdoor trading, markets and pavement cafés.
The stunning new look comes after the demolition of the old kiosk – which housed Jane Hewitt’s burger bar – and the construction of a seating area around the base of the London Plane tree at Speakers’ Corner.
Councillor Neil Murray, portfolio holder for economic growth at the council, said: “I am very pleased to see the completion of improvement works at this important part of the city centre.
“The area is much improved and now compliments and connects better with the high quality standard of the Sincil Street/Cornhill quarter.”
The council said contractors Lindum Construction worked with nearby businesses to ensure as little disruption as possible during the construction period.
Maria Clayton, capital project manager at the council, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the businesses for their patience and support during this period.
“These works have created a fully upgraded public realm area within the centre of the city, which improves access between the Transport Hub, Cornhill Quarter and the High Street, and also allows for a flexible space that can be used for a range of purposes, including events.”
Mark Leason, contracts manager at Lindum added: “It’s great to see the work completed. It’s another piece in the jigsaw of improvements that Lindum has carried out around the Cornhill.
“It’s not been an easy job as the site is in the centre of the city. We’ve worked day shifts and night shifts to get it completed with the minimum amount of interruption.
“The shops nearby have been fantastic. They helped us come up with a phasing plan for the work and their staff have been really patient.
“Our subcontractor Lincolnshire Block Paving has done a great job too and Andy Sullivan, who carried out the work, was actually replacing old paving which was laid by his dad many years before.”
The second phase of the project was possible thanks to the Government’s Town Deal Accelerated funding scheme.
The new-look square, in front of Santander, is designed to tie in with Lincolnshire Coop’s £70m Cornhill Quarter regeneration beyond and improve links to the new bus station and Lincoln Central multi-storey car park.
The Coop-led revamp of the Sincil Street area beyond has already seen the restoration of Lincoln’s second Corn Exchange to house the Cosy Club restaurant and shops, new shops in Sincil Street, and the Botanist Bar and Everyman Cinema overlooking Exchange Square.
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