Bridlington is changing. And the speed at which things happen might surprise you over the next two years.
The man in charge of the developments is Nigel Atkinson, head of Bridlington Renaissance, and he took the Free Press on a guided tour of the streets which will be improved in the forthcoming months to explain what is happening, where and when.
Part two sees us heading down Hilderthorpe Road...
First impressions count and many visitors travel along Hilderthorpe Road on their way into Bridlington.
Admittedly, the traffic cones and roadworks are not going to impress them at the minute, but it is at the heart of the new Bridlington.
The road will remain two-way and will be widened to three lanes to help with the flow of traffic, and the opening up of the Gypsey Race stream is a key feature of the improvements.
Plans for a new park, stretching the length of the road, have already been made public, and it is likely that new town houses will be popping up too.
Coun Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Unlocking the potential of Bridlington is important, not only for the town but the East Riding as a whole.
“This council is committed to investing in its assets in Bridlington as well its infrastructure in order to improve accessibility for both pedestrians and motorists and ease congestion around the town centre.
“It is also important to create the right impression for visitors and create spaces that residents can enjoy and be proud of.
“That is why the council is investing in a number of schemes to improve areas like the train station plaza and to restore and enhance properties in the Bridlington Quay Conservation Area, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“It is the council’s ultimate ambition that the end result of this regeneration work is the creation of an economically prosperous town.
“A Bridlington for tomorrow that is both a first-class visitor destination but that also offers the right financial and social opportunities for its residents.”
All of the shops, office and houses along one side of Hilderthorpe Road have been knocked down in the past couple of years.
“By taking space from the north and east side of the road, we can alleviate traffic flow by putting a right turn lane in,” said Nigel Atkinson, head of Bridlington regeneration.
A mini-roundabout will be installed outside the Albion pub and Beck Hill will be altered to remove the double bend and create a bridge over the Gypsey Race.
“We are in the process of diverting the route of the Gypsey Race,” said Mr Atkinson.
Beck Hill will be the first element of the scheme to be finished, hopefully early in the New Year, followed by the town centre plan which will see one-way schemes implemented in Manor Street and Bridge Street.
Then Hilderthorpe Road will be widened and the whole process should be completed at the start of 2018. “Things are moving on. We are getting the basic infrastructure in place,” added Mr Atkinson.
The first site to be put on the market is likely to be the area around the former Royal British Legion, and it is most likely to be used for housing.
“It is outside the main retail area but that use would be considered. It could also be residential, but whatever it is, it has to be the right quality.”
Springfield Avenue could be the second site to go out to tender, with a number of uses likely to be considered, and the council is expecting there to be considerable interest.
And there could be more changes to the area.
“Palace car park is staying as it is for the time being, but in the Area Action Plan it is identified as a site for develepment,” admitted Mr Atkinson.
“It’s difficult to know what confidence there is in the market for coastal resorts at the moment.
“However, what we are doing should make Bridlington a far more attractive place for developers.”
Things should be more attractive for people living in the area too. Stage one of a green space along the side of the Hilderthorpe Road coach park is due to start taking shape soon.
That will feature wildlife habitats and viewing areas, while stage two will include a children’s play area on the site of the former Springfield garage.
As for the coach park itself, don’t hold your breath.
Plans for Tesco to build a new supermarket on the site, to free up their existing store to become a shopping centre, fell through in 2013, meaning regeneration bosses were back to square one.
Lidl then expressed their interest publicly but nothing materialised and it seems the coach park will be one of the final pieces of the jigsaw.
“We are using the coach park for contractors’ compounds in relation to both phases of the highway scheme,” said Mr Atkinson.
“We are not in a position to lose it, until we have worked out where coaches would be able to go in the future.”
Next week, we look at reaction to the plans for the town centre and look at whether a marina for Bridlington will become a reality.