DESIGN work is due to begin this summer on a major upgrade of Hanham High Street.
A successful bid to the Love Our High Streets campaign has resulted in £395,000 to fund improvements next year.
Current proposals include refurbishing the public toilet block on the corner of Laburnum Road, installing new planters and benches, and improving the bus stops and street signs. Free parking will be retained at the Laburnum Street car park. Murals and public artworks are also set to be installed to help revitalise the High Street.
But the scheme, drawn up by South Gloucestershire Council, which worked on the bid to the West of England Combined Authority with local traders, has been criticised by some as uninspiring.
The plans are likely to be a big issue in the run-up to the council elections next month.
June Bamford, a Conservative councillor for Hanham, said: “I am thrilled to see this significant investment coming to Hanham. High streets across the country have struggled in recent years due to changing consumer behaviour, and it’s good to see that here in South Glos we are committed to doing as much as we can to help local businesses.”
Nicola Bartlett, who runs Eclectic Gift Shop in the High Street, wrote on Facebook: “Appalling result for Hanham. Maintaining the toilets, a few planters and improved signage. Hardly inspiring. All of this should already be covered by council tax and business rates.
“The extra funding should be used for more inspiring projects, such as bringing empty units back into use such as the Lloyds Bank. Or holding community events on the High Street, such as a Farmers Market. It should not be used to fund the very basics listed.”