With spring finally here and Covid restrictions beginning to ease slowly, a new look for Whaley Bridge has come at just the right time.
New bus shelters and fingerposts signposting people to some of the key features in the town - including the Memorial Park, the canal basin and shops - have been installed.
It's been done using funding aimed at helping Whaley Bridge, and the other surrounding towns which were affected by the partial collapse of the dam at Toddbrook Reservoir in the summer of 2019, to recover by boosting the local economy.
A major plan to permanently restore the reservoir, which could cost up to £16 million, was recently revealed by its owners The Canal and River Trust.
High Peak Borough Council say it is working closely with the local community, the Town and Parish Councils and other partners to 'identify and deliver schemes and projects' which will help to boost tourism and encourage local people to take a fresh look at the town.
More fingerposts are due to be installed in April, while work has begun to resurface the Canal Street car park and put in cycle racks.
Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: “The community response to the Toddbrook incident, both whilst it was happening and since, has been remarkable.
“We want to support this enduring strength and resilience by using this funding to best effect to ensure it is spent on projects which really benefit the people who live and work in the areas most affected and those who support these communities by visiting and spending time and money there.
“In Whaley, improving local public transport amenities was one the projects identified through our engagement work so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to deliver not only two new bright, modern shelters but also repair a couple to other shelters so that they are clean, safe places to wait for the bus.
“And the installation of these attractive fingerposts will help people access some of the town’s assets and attractions – something that will be of increasing value as the Covid restrictions are gradually, and safely, relaxed.”
The new bus shelters are located opposite the railway station and just off the A6 roundabout close to Tesco, while the bus shelter on the railway station side of the road has been repaired along with a shelter at Horwich End.
Councillor Greenhalgh added: “The shelter opposite the railway station has previously been a site associated with anti-social behaviour. The new shelter is made of glass and well-lit providing much greater visibility for those using it so it has the added benefit of helping to address this issue as well as improving waiting amenities for bus users.”
Some of the new fingerposts which have been installed in Whaley Bridge.