Merrywalks car park set for £300,000 improvement

Stroud News and Journal: (l-r) Darren Payne, Gooch Group managing director Colin Gooch, Stroud Distrcit Council community safety manager Paul Helbrow, Halfords duty manager Alistair Williams and cllr Geoff Wheeler outside Merrywalks car park which will now be run by the council ( (l-r) Darren Payne, Gooch Group managing director Colin Gooch, Stroud Distrcit Council community safety manager Paul Helbrow, Halfords duty manager Alistair Williams and cllr Geoff Wheeler outside Merrywalks car park which will now be run by the council (

AROUND £300,000 will be spent on improvements to the multi-storey car park at Merrywalks after Stroud District Council took over the running of it.

The car park officially came under the management of the district council on Monday, December 2, after the previous operator NCP saw its contract with the owner Streetlands come to an end.

Under the terms of the new lease, the authority and Streetlands have agreed a major package of investment to upgrade the facility, which sees the council contributing a third of the total money to be spent on the project.

SDC’s Labour leader Geoff Wheeler said: “This important car park provides access directly into the Merrywalks Shopping Centre, the cinema and the bowling alley. It is also the closest covered car park to the town centre.

“It requires urgent investment including repairs and improvements to signage hence we are undertaking £100,000 worth of work on Streetlands’ behalf alongside the £200,000 that it will be investing in refurbishing the top floor next to Stroud Bowl.”

Weather permitting, work on the improvements is due to start after Christmas, with the car park receiving a deep clean, new markings and better lighting between January and February.

General improvements to signage and decor will also be made in conjunction with efforts to resurface the rooftop floor of the multi-storey building.

“Managing this 226 space car park gives us the opportunity to support the cinema, other tenants and the town centre generally and benefit the local economy as a whole,” added Cllr Wheeler.

“We’re also looking at the financial viability of offering discounts, such as free parking in the evenings, to help cinema goers, restaurants and other businesses in the town.”

At the start of the millennium, SDC contributed £1 million towards Streetlands’ £8 million extension of the Merrywalks Shopping Centre, which saw the construction of the Apollo cinema, now run by Vue Cinemas.

Stroud District Council currently manages over 30 car parks across the district, including five in Stroud town centre.

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