THE County Council has outlined plans to make Hexham 'attractive' as the  £2.4m investment works get underway.

The town centre is undergoing street reconstruction as part of of the investment through the Hexham High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and will be delivered by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Historic England.

Work which started on July 3 is focused on the corridor of Priestpopple, Cattle Market and Battle Hill.

 It will be completed in phases, starting on the south side of Priestpopple with completion expected in Spring 2024.

There will be a pause in construction during the Christmas trading period.

 Work began on traffic management arrangements, including the introduction of a one-way system.

The council believe this is the most effective and efficient way to complete the project, with minimal disruption to road users and business.

They also state that the traffic flows will be monitored regularly.

The street furniture in the first section that has been removed and the site team have also constructed a temporary base for onsite mortar production.

Other changes include the taxi rank, which has been temporarily relocated in front of the old bus station, whilst works are underway, and it is envisaged that it can be moved back in August.

Significant excavation work has also started on Priestpopple to enable the installation of a crate system to support the first of the new trees which will be planted in spring next year. 

The trees are being installed using a below ground soil cell system, made of recycled plastic.

Very deep tree pits need to be dug which are very visible next to the telephone box and the taxi rank at the moment but once the crates have been installed, the areas excavated will be covered and no longer visible. 

Upcoming works include paving at the top end of Battle Hill. 

On-street parking will be reconfigured to include an accessible parking bay, an electric vehicle charging point and wider bays.

Once finished, the street will operate as it currently does and there will be no change to road layout, pedestrian crossing points, the taxi rank or the junction at Eastgate.

Northumberland County Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for Supporting Business and Opportunities said:  “The public realm work is an important investment by the council to help revitalise and refresh Hexham’s historic town centre.

"We are working hard to keep disruption to a minimum and are constantly monitoring the impact. We thank residents and businesses for their patience and understanding whilst this important work is carried out to improve their town.”

Jules Brown from Historic England said: “Improving pedestrian access and adding trees can be hugely beneficial for a town centre, particularly when it improves historic character. Once this work is completed, it will make this part of Hexham a more distinctive place to work and visit and improve the town centre for everyone.” 

Information on the scheme and the phasing of works is available on the county council’s website: