COUNCILLORS toasted the completion of the town centre's revival project which has 'refreshed' the high street.

The Hexham High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) has brought more than £3.5m in investment to revitalise the town centre by resurfacing roads, installing wider pavement slabs to allow outdoor seating and providing on-street parking.

Councillors praised those involved in the scheme and residents for their patience during the improvement works, delivered by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Historic England.

Hexham Courant: New paving on PriestpoppleNew paving on Priestpopple (Image: NQ)

Hexham mayor Derek Kennedy said: “After nine months the Heritage Zone on Priestpopple, Hexham is complete with the public realm area refreshed with new pavements, planters, trees and investment into the likes of Coach and Horses and Vercelli. This will allow people to sit out and enjoy the delights of Hexham. We thank the business and people of Hexham for their patience during the improvements. We all look forward to Hexham having a great summer with a lot of trading."

READ MORE: Council amends plans for Priestpopple and issues apology to businesses after feedback

Town councillor Penny Grennan for Gilesgate ward said the final result was 'fantastic'.

"I know that the refurbishment of buildings and pavements has caused disruption but the end result is fantastic. Hexham was awarded the highest sum in the country for the work and it has hugely improved the area for many years to come. Thank you to Historic England and the county council officers and employees for making this happen." 

Cllr Suzanne Fairless-Aitken, who represents Hexham East ward, said: "What the Priestpopple and Battle Hill ‘Heritage Zone’ fund has now shown is how much this area of town needed a revamp and with steering the scheme has been moved through the last two years to the final phase of pavements and roads.

"I'm extremely proud of all the work that the Northumberland County Council officers, heritage team, and fellow councillors have done with this project – even as our favourite Hexham Facebook page queried and often doubted the scheme.

"The revival of the high street has been about so much more than just new paths and tarmac, it's been about the cultural value given to the town in schools’ projects, art competitions, Hexham history recordings and of course, the illuminated sheep.

"Not everyone was aware of how big the scope of the HSHAZ is – obviously, the buildings and pavements stand out, but lots of stuff went on behind the scenes and in the town and community groups to see the grant money from Historic England and the county council well spent."