Building work on the long-awaited regeneration of Northwich town centre is to begin next week.
Build contractor Balfour Beatty will move on site on Monday (17 November) to begin the major works to deliver the £50m Barons Quay development.
All major elements of the riverside retail and leisure scheme are scheduled for completion by autumn 2016.
To enable work to begin, Tabley Street car park, between Adelaide Gardens and Tabley Street, will close on 17 November.
To minimise disruption for shoppers and traders in the busy pre-Christmas period, Balfour Beatty has been working with Cheshire West and Chester Council on alternative parking arrangements.
Work is currently underway to bring the disused car park on Leicester Street, next to Matalan, back into use as soon as possible in December.
Disabled spaces will be relocated on the Council’s car park at Leicester Street, next to Marks & Spencer.
As the development progresses, the former depot site on Leicester Street will be brought back into use as a temporary car park with the potential for 200-plus spaces.
Councillor Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy, said: “The sheer scale of the Barons Quay redevelopment means that some disruption is unavoidable.
“However, I would like to reassure residents and traders that we are working closely with our contractors Balfour Beatty to ensure we minimise inconvenience wherever we can and maintain as much parking as possible.
“I would ask the local community to bear with us as this exciting regeneration project takes shape, bringing with it a vast range of new shopping and leisure opportunities and creating up to 1,200 jobs.”
The first sequence of Barons Quay, including an Odeon cinema, restaurants, Asda supermarket and shops, is due to be completed by autumn 2016.
The next sequence – a concurrent build of further shops and residential units – is scheduled for completion in 2017.
The scheme will transform a neglected 26-acre brownfield site into a vibrant commercial centre, taking full advantage of the river frontage while creating strong links to the traditional shopping areas.
Local Councillor Paul Dolan said: “I am sure local people will be delighted to see work finally beginning on the long-awaited regeneration of Northwich town centre.
“I have long maintained that it is important for residents and traders to know that all efforts will be made to minimise disruption in the town centre, including the provision of alternative, if temporary, parking provision.
“This, including good signage, is particularly important both in the run-up to the busy shopping period around Christmas and the commencement of the works in the New Year.”