Hexham Public Realm Improvements

This scheme commences in July 2023 and will be completed in Spring 2024.

These works focus on the key corridor of Priestpopple, Cattle Market and Battle Hill and include upgrading paving materials to complement the historic surroundings.

Pedestrian safety will be enhanced, and new planters and trees will be introduced to ‘green’ the area.  On-street parking will be reconfigured to include an accessible parking bay, an electric vehicle charging point and wider bays.  For further information on the improvements being made, please view the Masterplan.  The plan is conceptual and final scheme details may change during the construction stage.

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

Construction work commenced on the south side of Priestpopple in July and work on the north side of the street will commence in January 2024 with completion expected in late Spring 2024.  There will be a pause in construction during the Christmas trading period.  All dates are indicative and subject to change. 

As construction work will be taking place in a busy area of the town and need to be completed safely, a temporary one-way system has been introduced that will enable the free flow of traffic operating from west to east.  This was identified as the best option, promoting traffic flow, creating the least congestion and protecting pedestrians and the workforce.  Clear signage will be in place to inform motorists of the one-way system and diversion routes. 

The work also complements the heritage lighting scheme that was installed in the first phase last year and will deliver further investment in the target area already benefitting from the HSHAZ building grants scheme. 

The construction works are being managed and funded by the council.  The Hexham Public Realm Improvement Scheme is a key element of the Hexham High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) delivered by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Historic England that aims to make the town a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and visit, whilst also enhancing the Conservation Area status of the town centre.  Design work has been part funded by Historic England through the HSHAZ programme.  Northumberland County Council is investing approximately £2.3m on the delivery of the scheme as part of its commitment to revitalising town centres. 

Answers to common questions are given below.

Or you can contact us with your enquiry at hexhamhshaz@northumberland.gov.uk.
The heritage-led improvements will make the town centre a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and visit, while also enhancing the Conservation Area, which is designated as ‘at risk’. Pedestrian safety will be improved, and new planters and trees will be introduced to ‘green’ the area. Paving will be replaced with upgraded natural paving materials to complement the historic surroundings.

The key corridor of Priestpopple, Battle Hill and Cattle Market. See the Masterplan for more specific boundaries.

Works will be carried out between 08:00 and 20:00, mainly Monday to Friday with some weekend working as required. This will be tailored around the opening hours of traders in Priestpopple, Battle Hill and Cattle Market as access to areas outside of doorways and business frontage will be affected. Construction noise will be monitored and comply with relevant guidelines.

The construction works will cost approximately £2.3m and are being funded and delivered by Northumberland County Council. Historic England part funded the design phase as a component project through the High Streets Heritage Action Zone national programme.

As construction will be taking place in a busy area of the town and needs to be completed safely, a temporary one-way system will be introduced which will enable the free flow of traffic operating from west to east. This was identified by the council as the best option as it will enable traffic flow, create the least congestion and offers the best protection for pedestrians and the on-site workforce.

All arrangements will be monitored throughout. Site personnel will be regularly communicating with businesses when working outside or near their properties and will maintain access to businesses as far as reasonably practicable, working around their opening hours where possible.

Works to the taxi rank have been partially completed with resurfacing and road markings to be completed by Spring 2024. The taxi bays will remain in the same location.

Bus companies have been advised about the scheme and the traffic management arrangements. Temporary bus stops will be in place and will return to normal on completion of the scheme.

There will be minimal impact to on-street parking. On Priestpopple the existing bay parking is to be retained and surfacing improved. Following feedback from the public, parking bays will be reconfigured to 2.5m in width and 1 accessible bay is to be included. The total number of bays will therefore result in a slight decrease from 15 to 13. Potential installation of EV charging points is also being considered.

To the northern side of Priestpopple, parking will be limited to loading and disabled access only to ensure these number remain as per the existing arrangements.

There will be no change to the numbers of disabled parking areas and loading bays on Cattle Market and Battle Hill.

The council is liaising with businesses affected by the works to understand access and delivery requirements and opening hours and site personnel will be on hand to provide up-to-date information.

Works on the south side are mostly complete with some small sections of paving to be finished and trees and street furniture installed by Spring 2024.

Work recommences on 8 January 2024 on the north side and there are likely to be multiple sections being repaved at the same time. This will enable the full scheme to be finished as quickly as possible.