The Market Place improvements have started – The plans feature new paved areas, a new seating area and a restoration of the Boyle Cross to an ornamental fountain. Work has begun and is set to greatly enhance the appearance of this part of the town centre. Cheap Street is one of Frome’s most characterful and celebrated shopping destinations and will remain open throughout the improvements.
Initially proposed in 1995, the scheme is the product of extensive public consultation. Councillor Pippa Goldfinger said, ‘The long-awaited Market Place improvements will make the heart of our town safer for pedestrians and more attractive and pleasant for everyone. The scheme was created in response to public consultations, with input from landscape architects & highways engineers so conforms to all necessary regulations while providing a much needed boost to the town centre.’
Frome Town Council and Mendip District Council are currently working closely with town Centre businesses and market traders to minimise disruption. The market traders who have traditionally operated at the Boyle Cross on a Wednesday and Saturday have been relocated to the Market Yard by the Library for the duration of the works. The Somerset Farmers Markets who have stalls on the Boyle Cross area during the Frome Independent will temporarily operate from Justice Lane at the September, October and November events. A number of initiatives are being implemented to help the visibility of the Cheap Street traders. Cheap Street can be accessed via King Street and the alley opposite the entrance to the Archangel and from the pavement in front of TSB in the Market Place which remains open for pedestrians.
During the improvements, it is important that the public and visitors to the town are fully aware that Cheap Street will remain open throughout. To help promote Cheap Street, the Town Council has paid for a large banner that will be displayed on the hoarding around the works and will remain there for the duration. Signs clearly stating “Cheap Street OPEN AS USUAL” can be found in car parks, the Discover Frome Information Point at the Black Swan and approaches to Cheap Street. They include a list of the shops and other businesses in Cheap Street. Thanks to the Chamber and Superior Print for their help in getting the signs up in the car parks. Trader Renate Dove from Fine Fettle said: ‘The disruption whilst the work is being done is not ideal but when completed it will be a wonderful addition to Frome. Cheap Street is described on the Discover Frome website as the ‘pride and joy’ of Frome and this work will enhance that. We always value our customers’ support and even more so during this temporary upheaval so we ask that you bear with us, businesses will be open as usual with a smile. It will make Cheap Street an even better place to shop and visit when the work is finished.’
Whilst construction is in progress there will be temporary delivery bays available in Market Place and King Street and business premises will remain accessible. There will be no lights or stop/go boards to control traffic and the disabled parking outside The George will be retained.
The works are set to finish in time for Christmas shopping. At this point the Boyle Cross area will be clear of cars and safer for pedestrians – improving overall visibility and encouraging footfall. Part of the remodelling will be to light up the Boyle Cross fountain – which will be incorporated in our Christmas Lights Switch On event on Friday 1 December.
For further information regarding the Cheap Street shops please go to www.discoverfrome.co.uk