IMPROVEMENTS to public spaces in two Leicester neighbourhoods will be carried out thanks to a £5million investment over the next three years.
Preparatory work is already well underway on an £850,000 scheme at Ottawa Road in St Matthews, to improve communal areas and boost safety.
Proposals are now being drawn up to extend similar improvements in other parts of St Matthews and St Peters, including improvements in areas such as open space, road safety and the environment.
The plans follow long-term work with the neighbourhood housing team, ward councillors and the local tenants’ and residents’ associations to identify the problems they most want to see being addressed, such as fly-tipping, shortage of parking and safety issues.
They follow a commitment by City Mayor Peter Soulsby back in 2019 to invest in improving the two estates, by taking into account local issues ranging from overgrown plants to maintenance and cleansing issues to help make public areas safer and more user-friendly.
The £5million budget would allow improvements to be made in St Matthews and St Peter’s by 2024.
The scheme at Ottawa Road and the corner of Edmonton Road in St Matthews will involve removing old brick garages and bin stores and replacing them with new parking bays, new street lighting and railings. Landscaping in communal areas is also planned to help improve the overall appearance.
The proposals for both St Peters and St Matthews are still at an early concept stage, and consultation with residents will form a key part of the process to ensure the measures help address local issues. Preliminary designs are due to be drawn up over the coming months.
Leicester assistant city mayor for housing, Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, said: “This work represents a significant investment over the next few years to make real improvements in St Matthews and St Peters, to meet the needs for people living there and improve the areas for everyone who uses them.
“It is vital that the whole communities are involved in this decision-making process, to ensure what we are doing addresses the issues which are important to them.
“We must also balance the needs for any parking and road improvements with our environmental commitments to create neighbourhoods where people feel safe to walk and cycle, and where they can access and enjoy open green spaces.
“We are working with architects in order to bring forward initial designs for St Matthews and St Peters, so that we can progress with this work to benefit both neighbourhoods.”
Image: Artist's impression of initial courtyard design.