A long-awaited scheme to breathe new life into Mexborough town centre has taken a major step forward after a timetable for the work was drawn up.
Project leaders say the proposed layout and works drawings will be available within a fortnight or so, while detailed costing will be given by the end of this month.
Work is then set to begin on site in April next year to be completed by October 2014.
The scheme, which will cost around £400, 000, involves transforming part of the outdoor market on York Square into a public open space and having new pop up stalls.
Some traders have welcomed the move, but others have criticised the scheme, claiming it would be better if all of the rigid outdoor stalls remained in situ.
But councillor David Holland stressed this was the best way forward for the town.
He said: “It has taken longer than we had hoped but it is a big job. York Square will be restored to its original purpose – a proper town square with attractive new paving.
“My colleagues and I are hopeful that these improvements will serve as a catalyst for the much-needed revitalisation of the area and re-create the thriving town centre we used to have.”
The scheme will involve removing some of the rigid outdoor stalls to make way for an open space with new paving.
Pop up stalls will then be placed in the square on market days, and if necessary some may spill out into the High Street.
There will also be retractable bollards at the top and bottom of the High Street to stop vehicles illegally using it as a thoroughfare.
Shoppers can also expect to see new street furniture, seats and planters and improved signage.
However the scheme has drawn criticism in some quarters.
Phil Toone, 60, former chair of Mexborough’s branch of the Market Traders’ Federation, said: “A lot of people would just like to see a new roof put up. In high winds pop up stalls are just not as stable.”
Project leaders said any pop up stalls will be securely fastened to the ground.