HUNTINGDON town centre is set for major upheaval, as two improvement schemes start. Work began this week on demolishing vacant shops in Chequers Walk and the 1950s bridge over the street - between the former Threshers building and Baker s Oven - as part o
HUNTINGDON town centre is set for major upheaval, as two improvement schemes start.
Work began this week on demolishing vacant shops in Chequers Walk and the 1950s bridge over the street - between the former Threshers building and Baker's Oven - as part of the first phase of redevelopment of Chequers Court.
They will be replaced by larger premises, including a modern glass-fronted building fronting the High Street.
Demolition work is expected to take six or seven weeks.
Howard White, a director of the developers, Churchmanor Estates, told The Hunts Post: "The works will completely transform this area of Chequers Court and, with the demolition of the bridge link, the area will be opened up substantially to the High Street.
"Construction works of the new scheme will commence in early June, and the new buildings will complement the works that the district council has in hand at the bottom of St Benedict's Court.
"Demolition of the bridge link will be a challenge for all involved and disruption will be kept to a minimum. These works are long overdue, and the improvement will be worthwhile."
Across the High Street, work on HDC's £450,000 improvement scheme for St Benedict's Court will start after Easter. It is expected to be finished by mid-July.
The existing slabs will be taken up and replaced, the gazebo removed and a water feature and new seating installed.
The gazebo will be recycled to various parts of the town. The roof will be reused by a local Rotary Club, the stanchions - which came originally from the old meat market in All Saints' Passage - will be used by the local history society as supports for new signs explaining the history of Castle Hill, and the headstones are expected to go to St Mary's churchyard at the eastern end of the High Street.
A plaque at the site will acknowledge it as the location of the former St Benedict's Church, excavated stones from which form part of the gazebo. That will be a relief to the original architect, Trevor Roberts, who is now retired and lives in Hemingford Grey. He had feared that the continuity of history would be lost in the scheme.