WORK has started on a £1 million makeover designed to spruce up the Kirkgate area of Bradford city centre and transform it into a thoroughfare to link the Broadway development to the Kirkgate centre.

Bradford Council is keen to ensure that shoppers and visitors are able to move freely between the new Westfield shopping centre, which is under construction, and the existing city centre.

A series of changes will be made, including the installation of new natural stone pave, to place the concrete flooring and grey herringbone surface which has been in place on the pedestrianised area.

Street furniture will also be replaced, with new signs and lighting to match that already installed elsewhere in the city centre.

Semi-mature trees will be planted as part of the project, which will see a new Kirkgate Square created at the junction with Darley Street.

That will feature a raised grassy area and informal granite seating which will be similar in appearance to those already in place in City Park.

Money for the scheme has come from the Regional Growth Fund and the project is the final link in a scheme to upgrade streets throughout the city centre.

Darley Street, Prince's Way, City Park and Market Street have already benefitted from improvements.

Bradford Council leader, Councillor David Green, said: "The new Kirkgate square will create an informal meeting space and seating area and turn the whole street into a pleasant green area which should increase footfall from both visitors and residents.

"We are putting in this investment to ensure visitors flow to and from the new Westfield shopping development to the higher end of the city centre so that Bradford is a desirable shopping destination in its entirety.

"Work will complete by December this year," he said.