PLANS will be developed to upgrade a section of the Castle Street end of Douglas’s main retail centre as part of the Isle of Man Town and Village Regeneration Scheme.
The pedestrian access between Market Street and Castle Street is earmarked for improvement, with new paving stones, lighting and pedestrian signage set to be introduced.
The work, which forms part of a wider revamp of the area, was scheduled to take place in 2015, but has been brought forward following discussions with local retailers.
David Cretney MHK, Chairman of the Douglas Regeneration Committee, said: ‘Improvements have so far focused on Nelson Street and Wellington Street, and will progress to include Duke Street north, Strand Street and the Promenade gateways. The area around Castle Street, Marina Road and the Villa/Gaiety was due to undergo a makeover in phase three of the Douglas regeneration plan, but we have decided to carry out parts of this work earlier than scheduled. We always listen to what our partners and retailers are saying and have responded positively to some of their suggestions.’
He added: ‘The route from the main entrance to the Iceland store through to Castle Street is used by a significant number of pedestrians, so I’m sure the proposed improvements will be welcomed by shoppers and retailers alike.’
The Regeneration Scheme is a Government-led initiative to breathe fresh life into the Island’s main shopping areas and reinvigorate local economies.
More than 120 projects in seven towns and villages have already benefited from funding, or have applied for grant assistance. Several more bids are in the pipeline.
Retail businesses in Castle Street and Marina Road are eligible for regeneration grants for improving their properties. Some owners and tenants have already received funding and others have submitted applications. Details of funding can be found at http://www.gov.im/ded/Regeneration/
Regeneration awards have been approved for a wide range of activities across the Island, from minor improvements to individual properties and parades of shops, through to larger scale schemes to create more vibrant commercial centres.
The projects have been co-ordinated by Regional Regeneration Committees – partnerships between Government, local authorities and private enterprise – and influenced by public feedback via consultations and roadshows.
Douglas has already benefitted from new pedestrian surfaces, lighting and street furniture in Nelson Street and Wellington Street, and future work will centre on sections of Duke Street and Strand Street, including improvements to the frontage of the Strand Centre.