3.0 Progress, options, discussion, etc.
3.1 The proposed revised implementation programme is to continue to construct the Queen Street improvements but not to progress with the Cleveland Street works for the time being. It is also proposed to bring forward the delivery of Princess Street which offers the opportunity to deliver a significant change in the street scene and to complement the Queen Street works. The attached plan (Appendix A) illustrates the proposed scheme for Princess Street. This approach would require enabling works in Market Street and Garrick Street, the details of which will be the subject of a further report.
3.2 This delivery option has the advantage of supporting the Interchange, maximising grant already secured and would visibly deliver one of the key objectives of the overall scheme i.e. improvement to the pedestrian links between the retail and civic areas and the Interchange and support the Council’s investment in Block 10 and proposed redevelopment of the railway station. The improvement to Princess Street would deliver a new pedestrianised area within the city enhancing pedestrian movement and is not linked to other city centre redevelopment proposals.
3.3 The cost of these works will need some further detailed appraisal but is estimated to be in the region of £1.60 million, including expenditure already incurred on the design and development of the project. This option would utilise the DfT grant of £600,000 so reducing the immediate borrowing requirement to £1.00 million.
3.4 This suggested approach delivers the key benefits of the scheme at an early stage but would not prejudice the implementation of the wider transport and movement scheme which could be brought forward in the future to better align with regeneration and development as they come forward and as funding is secured.
3.5 It is also proposed to take the opportunity to review the future capital maintenance programme to seek to identify maintenance funding for Lichfield Street, Dudley Street and Market Street. The ability to include works to improve the environment for pedestrians at Exchange Street and the section of Bilston Street between Dudley Street and Garrick Street would also be explored. The funding for these additional works and maintenance is not currently identified and would need to be the subject of further work to review the scope and content of the work involved and the cost estimate.