Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Lancaster city centre improvements take shape, famous Horseshoe set to return to rightful place

Resurfacing works partly funded by European Union finance to revive the heart of Lancaster city centre are well underway as part of a £1 million investment to reinvigorate Market Square and the surrounding streets that will include the return of the famous horseshoe to "Horsehoe Corner" on the corner of Penny Street and Market Street.

Street works to improve the city centre started at the beginning of March at the bottom of Cheapside and Market Square with further work starting this week to resurface the rest of Market Square.

During this time, the Charter Market will continue to run in the city centre every Wednesday and Saturday as normal. However, to make way for further works taking place in the vicinity of market square, some stallholders have been relocated to New Street. Others have taken up vacant pitches on lower Market Street and Cheapside until the works are complete.

An improved long term layout for the Charter Market will then be introduced which will make full use of its enhanced setting.

The installation of a new centrepiece in Market Square which is scheduled to be complete by the end of July will mark the end of this phase.

The famous horseshoe - currently in safe keeping at
Morecambe Town Hall
The council have also told virtual-lancaster the horseshoe that was removed for safe keeping from Penny Street some time ago will be incorporated into the paving when works to resurface "Horse Shoe Corner" take place, within the next three or four weeks.

Market Street and Market Square will be closed to all through traffic but pedestrian access to shops and businesses will be maintained during normal business hours.

Councillor Janice Hanson, Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Economic Regeneration and Planning, said: “Investing in improving the heart of Lancaster city centre is at last taking shape with resurfacing works being rolled out to some of the busiest streets in the city.

“Market Street and Market Square has always been the focal point for both civic and ceremonial activities as well as events and trade. We can now look forward to what was once a tired and uninviting place portraying an image befitting our important historic city and encouraging more activity into the city centre during the day and through into the evening.

“In turn this will boost the local economy, increase income and profit for local businesses and lead to more jobs for local people.”

The Horseshoe in its original setting.Photo: Han Fleet
The works are part of the Lancaster Square Routes Project and being led by Lancaster City council in close partnership with Lancashire County Council and other partners to make improvements to Market Square and surrounding streets to strengthen the city centre’s position as a quality destination for visitors, residents and traders.

They are co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme 2007-2013 and both councils.

• For more information on Lancaster Square Routes

• Did you know? Horseshoe Corner is the unofficial name of the intersection between Penny Street, Cheapside and Market Street in Lancaster. 

It is so named because of the horseshoe once set into the paving at the centre of this crossroads and due to be restored. Legend has is that John o' Gaunt's horse shed a shoe here when he left Lancaster castle for the last time. This was once the centre of the mediaeval City of Lancaster. More info:

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