THE first phase of a major project to enhance the historic Ladybridge and improve links between Tamworth town centre and Ventura Park is almost complete.
The main road into Tamworth once passed across Ladybridge, but although the bridge was closed to traffic in 1984, the road was left intact.
Work on the £500,000 improvement scheme began in March this year and has involved:
- Replacement of the pavement and roadway with a level surface, to be shared by pedestrians and cyclists
- Extension of the York stone paving stones from the Castle entrance, along the whole length of Ladybridge
- Application of a golden gravel surfacing to complement the flag stones
- Installation of new bollards
A sculpted timeline celebrating Tamworth’s heritage and history is yet to be installed on the bridge, and gaps where the six flagstones will be placed have been temporarily filled with tarmac. This is temporary measure which will be removed once the timeline is ready to be installed.
The six flagstones will be hand-carved using mallet and chisel in the traditional Saxon style with images and text celebrating six of the most notable events in Tamworth’s history. Tamworth Castle currently asking visitors to fill in a questionnaire suggesting the six historical events they would like to see depicted on the timeline.
Heritage lighting columns and waymarkers will also be installed along Ladybridge, with all this work expected to be complete in the next three to four months.
The Ladybridge works are part of the wider Gateways Project, which aims to improve the physical links between the town centre, Ventura Park and the railway station, making the routes more attractive and increasing the number of pedestrians and cyclists using them. They have been carried out through a partnership between Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
The second phase of the project is expected to start in April next year and will extend the improvements from Riverdrive into Ventura Park.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council Cabinet member for Economy & Education, said: “The Ladybridge works and the wider Gateways Project is a crucial part of our long-term, ongoing work to improve and regenerate Tamworth town centre and I am pleased to see that the first stage of the works are almost finished.
“Ladybridge provides an attractive and welcoming link between the town centre and Ventura Park, which will encourage people to make the most of what Tamworth has to offer.
“This sits alongside a wide range of public and private sector regeneration projects, both ongoing and in the pipeline, to secure the future of the town centre.”
Staffordshire County Council’s economy and transport leader, Cllr Mark Winnington, said: “The Ladybridge route will be a long-term asset to the people of Tamworth and enhance a pedestrian and cycle link from the town centre to Ventura Park. The heritage timeline will provide an insight into the borough’s history and it’s good to see that local people will have an input into its creation.
“We look forward to the completion of the first phase. The link will complement Gungate, the cultural quarter development and other improvements across Tamworth which really demonstrates that this is the place to live, work, visit and do business.”