An ambitious £9 million project to transform Strood is well underway with the new-look market up and running for business today.
But the market which used to be on Tuesday and Saturday will now only be held on Tuesday.
Medway Council successfully secured funding from central government to improve pedestrian routes, cycling facilities and road layouts to ease congestion.
The scheme began in February following consultation with traders, residents and businesses.
Two phases have already been completed including improvements to the car park and market space in Commercial Road. Parking will also be available in the car park during the market, on Tuesdays between 9am and 2pm.The decision not to open the market on Saturday will free up extra car parking to meet demand.
The next phase, due to start tomorrow, will include improvements to the existing central island between Station Road and Commercial Road which will be made more accessible for pedestrians.
The transformation aims to boost economic growth, provide new jobs in the town and create a location where people are proud to live and work.
Cllr Rodney Chambers, who is in charge of strategic regeneration, said: “ The works are really starting to take shape and I’m looking forward to seeing the final results. Strood is becoming a very popular area where residents are proud to live and work and take advantage of the variety of Strood’s expanding retail offer.”
Cllr Jane Chitty, the portfolio holder for economic growth ,added “We’ve listened to traders and local businesses and I’m pleased that the new-look market has now been opened. There is now more car parking available for residents and visitors in Strood town centre on Saturdays.”
The funding has come from the Local Growth Fund through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Big names, such as Matalan,M & S and Next have attracted more shoppers to Strood Retail Park.