WORK is under way to improve a rundown high street.
New paving stones are going down in Seaham’s Church Street as a project to revamp the ailing precinct and give it an updated look.
It has been launched after a consultation about the proposals, which drew in 160 responses from residents and businesses.
Shabby benches have been removed to allow Durham County Council to start its efforts to replace the damaged herringbone paving blocks with the new stone at the St John’s end of the street.
New furniture and litter bins are to be installed, along with updated signs.
Fences, bollards and lampposts will be repainted and art, created by children from the town and already in place, will be refurbished, with some of the brass discs to be replaced after they were stolen in past years.
The improvements are part of the Seaham Destination Development Plan, which aims to make the visitor experience a better one for tourists.
They also link in with plans to make the town a better place to visit and encourage business.
The council say it will also complement the business improvements currently being carried out in Church Street.
The work is expected to be carried out in about 12 weeks.
Julie Anson, the council’s community economic development team leader, said: “The need to improve the appearance of Church Street is identified as a priority in both the Seaham Destination Development Plan and the Seaham and Murton Masterplan.
“We already offer assistance to individual traders who want to give their premises a facelift, but the street itself also needs attention.
“As the key link between the Byron Place and St John’s Square developments it is important that this area has a welcoming feel.
“By carrying out these improvements we hope to be able to attract more shoppers and tourists to Church Street, which will improve the local economy and, hopefully, attract more businesses.”
The council has said improvements to the town centre will be done in phases as funding becomes available.