£100,000 investment plan for Leigh Park

Many of the shops at both The Greywell Shopping Centre and Park Parade shops at Leigh Park near Havant have shut-down and closed '''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (113195-6101)
Many of the shops at both The Greywell Shopping Centre and Park Parade shops at Leigh Park near Havant have shut-down and closed '''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (113195-6101)

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LEIGH Park town centre is set for £100,000 of investment.

The cash will go on improving public transport in the area – particularly bus stops.

Money will also be spent on improving pavements, road surfaces, seating, clocks, and litter bins.

It will tie in with recent improvements in Somborne Drive, at the top Greywell Precinct and Park Parade.

Somborne Drive recently received a design award from Havant Borough Council.

Judges were impressed by the newly-installed zebra crossing linking Lidl and the new Portsmouth City Council housing office to the town centre. New pavements, seating, bike racks, a notice board, trees and some short term parking spaces were installed.

Councillor Ann Buckley, who represents Leigh Park and Bedhampton on Hampshire County Council, said: ‘I am really pleased this scheme has received an award.

‘The area is looking better and this brings in shoppers.

‘It is good to see investment go into Leigh Park and all the team who have worked on this scheme deserve praise.

‘Now I would like to see improvements to the bus stops and the area outside the community centre which is uneven and full of potholes.’

Some of the cash will come from the government and the rest will come from developers, earmarked for investment in local infrastructure.

Cllr Buckley said retailers and residents should be consulted on what to do with the latest funding and landlord Mark Smith agrees.

In the past 18 months Mr Smith has invested £1m in buying up leases to shops to be let out at reasonable rents.

He has encouraged many new traders to the area and recently bought the lease for the empty former Netto store at the bottom of the precinct.

A new greengrocer opened opposite the site this week.

Mr Smith said: ‘Before they spend the cash the council needs to speak to the shoppers, on where they think improvements can be made.

‘The shop fronts are the responsibility of landlords, like me.

‘But what would be great would be perhaps directional signage, letting people know straight away where they should head if they want this or that.

‘And perhaps update bus stops to actually bring people in.’