A project to breathe fresh life into one of the Isle of Man’s main shopping areas will get under way early next year.
The £1.4 million investment in Castle Street will continue the award-winning work carried out as part of the Lower Douglas Regeneration Scheme.
The construction programme is set to start on Monday 8 January 2018 in the areas of Senna Road and Frederick Street. The Department of Infrastructure is proposing to maintain two working areas at all times in a bid to reduce the duration of the scheme and minimise the disruption to businesses and the public.
The improvements are aimed at supporting the Manx economy by creating a more vibrant retail environment. Work will be carried out by the Department’s Highway Services Division, which has a strong track record of delivering regeneration projects.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said: ‘Creating an Island of enterprise and opportunity is one of the national priorities identified in the Programme for Government. Improving the physical appearance of our towns and villages is a positive way to support our existing businesses and to encourage new investment. Douglas is our main retail hub and gateway to the Isle of Man and the Castle Street scheme will revitalise the northern end of the high street. This will continue the regeneration work carried out in Strand Street and Regent Street and provide a seamless connection to the proposed cultural area on Douglas Promenade.’
David Anderson MLC, DoI Member with responsibility for Highway Services, added: ‘Work of this nature does result in short-term disruption and I’d like to thank the businesses in advance for their patience and cooperation. The payback will be a high quality environment that encourages greater footfall and strengthens Isle of Man’s reputation as a special place to live and work.’
Access will be maintained to all premises in Castle Street throughout the regeneration work. A letter outlining the proposed construction timetable has been delivered to businesses and officers from the Department will provide regular updates on progress.
The regeneration of Castle Street will involve a full reconstruction of the street, including the upgrading of public utilities and the installation of new lighting and street furniture. The existing pink concrete paviours, which were laid nearly 40 years ago, will be replaced with the natural granite slabs and setts successfully introduced in Strand Street and Regent Street.
The scheme is scheduled for completion in mid-October 2018 when attention will turn to taking forward proposals to improve Duke Street.