Independent retailers in Seaham are celebrating after a ‘barrier to business’ was removed.

Following consultation with local business owners and Seaham Town Council, Durham County Council made the decision to remove the blue barriers which segregated Byron Place Shopping Centre and independent retailers on Church Street.

The new design was agreed by retailers, stakeholders and other local groups and work on the site was completed earlier this month.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We have listened closely to the views of local businesses and the wider community and we found that 96 per cent of respondents to our consultation wanted to see the blue barriers removed.

“We are confident that the new layout will bring even greater investment to Seaham and encourage pedestrians to visit the independent shops, helping to boost their business.”

For safety reasons, a small black barrier has also been installed to mitigate a blind spot for pedestrians and drivers.

The removal of the barriers is just one way in which Durham County Council is supporting local businesses to increase footfall in the area, with further partnership work also taking place.

For more details on Seaham Church Street business engagement sessions contact the council’s community economic development team on 03000 267967 or visit www.durham.gov.uk/retail