The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was joined by Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington, the Leader of the Council and other delegates in Orpington High Street today to mark the completion of the £2.2 million improvement scheme. The event celebrated the enhancements to the town centre, to create a safer and more pleasant public space, as part of long term developments within the borough.
“These major changes to the High Street underline our commitment to improve town centres and ensuring the outdoor space is best used is part of this approach. The Mayor of London’s approach on this is welcome. We are Building a Better Bromley and playing our part to ensure that Bromley remains an enticing place for business and investment. We have a long term vision and we are determined to ensure that further improvements will make Orpington even more competitive, benefiting local residents and businesses” said Leader of Bromley Council, Councillor Stephen Carr.
MP for Orpington, Jo Johnson, said “Orpington High Street is open for business. It’s been a difficult period for all traders, but the wait has been worth it. I’m delighted to see vacancy rates falling and new businesses giving Orpington a second look.”
The scheme, the first to be designed and built in consultation with contractor FM Conway in Bromley, to produce a more attractive public environment began in January 2010 after plans were unveiled at the council’s improvement exhibition last summer. It has been completed punctually and on budget within six months, with the snowfall in February even failing to halt the works. The council’s Master Plan for Orpington to increase commercial confidence and raise the town’s profile, has included welcoming new retail investors to the High Street, the proposed relocation of Orpington library and the renewal of the south end of the High Street with the Tesco development.
Source: BBC London
“We have worked closely with local businesses all the way along this project. Just a short year ago we unveiled our plans with the support of the Orpington Business Forum. We would like to thank traders, shoppers and motorists for their magnificent support and patience throughout this time” said Councillor Julian Benington, Executive Councillor for Renewal and Recreation.
Partial funding for the initiative was provided by Transport for London (TfL), supporting the Mayor of London’s Great Outdoors Project to improve public spaces and quality of life in the capital. It has included the reduction of ‘street clutter’ with fewer road markings and a new restricted parking zone, the narrowing of the road to allow more space for pedestrians on the pavement, the installation of high quality coloured block paving and new street furniture. New trees have been planted along the length of the High Street by arboreal consultants, Gristwood and Toms and to mark the occasion, Boris Johnson assisted with the planting of a tree standing 10 metres high on the High Street, at the junction of Homefield Rise.
For more information, please visit: http://www.bromley.gov.uk/transportandstreets/neatstreet/improvements_to_orpington_high_street.htm