Plans to transform the Bards Walk  in Stratford have been given the green light by Stratford District Council.

The scheme will see the transformation of the covered arcade, which has long suffered from low footfall, to attract new leisure and restaurant operators to the area.

The 18 existing units will be reconfigured to create 7 larger spaces with high street frontages onto Henley Street or Wood Street. Additional windows and new shop fronts will create lighter, brighter units and improve customer appeal, whilst a large first floor area, currently used as storage, will be utilised to increase customer capacity.

Jeff Downes, director at Corstorphine + Wright, said: “The redeveloped Bards Walk will create a more vibrant leisure and retail environment. Previously many of the units lacked a high street presence and the tried exterior of the arcade did not draw in potential customers.

“In addition, there are a number of national chains interested in investing in Stratford, but have previously been restricted by the lack of units available of a suitable size. The new-look arcade will appeal to high quality operators who are currently underrepresented in the town.”

A spokesperson for ELQ Properties said: “The scheme will not only improve the early evening economy of the town but will increase footfall for surrounding businesses in the area.”

Work is due to begin this Autumn.

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