Lofty ambitions revealed for Tees high street

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Ambitious plans to transform Loftus High Street have been revealed.

Redcar and Cleveland Council has unveiled its vision for the town as part of its multi-million-pound bid for the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

Proposed designs, and a fly-through video, show the exciting plans to create a new market square to hold year-round events, as well as delivering more business space and homes, more and better car parking, and a modern facility for the relocation of Loftus Library.

Loftus is one of 100 towns to progress to the second phase of the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, which is aimed at transforming high streets across the country.

If successful, the council would have around £11m dedicated to the project through a package of funding.

Residents are being encouraged to have their say on the proposals before the bid is submitted in July.

Highlights of the plans include:

• Bringing a new gym facility to complement the existing leisure centre
• Relocating Loftus Library to create a new community hub linked to the High Street
• Rejuvenating Coronation Park with improved lighting, landscaping and a play area
• Creating more quality housing and improving key gateways
• Creating new visitor accommodation and commercial uses in empty buildings
• Creating quality workspace for new and existing businesses
• Creating a cultural hub in a disused building
• Improving key shop fronts in the heart of the town
• Improving the town’s appearance with gateways, paths, landscaping, lighting and paving

Councillor Wayne Davies, the council’s cabinet member for economic development at Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: “This bid is a fantastic opportunity for our area, so we are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved and have their say.

“Our vision is to transform Loftus into a modern market town providing facilities and attractions for residents and a memorable destination for our visitors.

“Loftus is close to the Cleveland Way and on a key route from Teesside to Whitby and the North York Moors.

“Before the pandemic, Loftus had 5,000 vehicles passing through daily, so we could potentially have a thriving visitor economy.

“We want to make sure people come to visit and stay here in Loftus, we want to create jobs for local people, and we want out businesses to thrive.”

Marshall Best, chair of Loftus Regeneration Group, said: “This plan provides a transformational step from a past rich in heritage and human endeavour towards a new vision, new opportunities all within surrounding landscape having abundant biodiversity and natural beauty.

“The Loftus Regeneration Group represents and serves the best interests of the community and we are delighted to present these plans alongside the council.

“Over a number of years at consultation meetings we have discussed and agreed these ideas to reflect the views and opinions within the community.

“Please make sure you have your say on the future of Loftus High Street.”