OPTIONS for changing the main street in a town centre have been revealed.

Consultation is underway for a long term scheme to redevelop Middle Street in Consett.

Ideas include a long strip of artwork though the centre, or breaking it up into sections with planting and other installations.

Durham County Council is working with landscape architects from Fairhurst on developing the proposals.

It is thought the public artwork would draw on the town’s industrial heritage and the legacy of the steel industry, which closed in 1980.

Laura Fogg, a spokesman for the consultancy firm, said: “The artwork is inspired by historic photographs of the steelworks.

“It could include railway sidings to create a pattern in the streetscape.”

Plans for the long strip of artwork also involve retaining access for vehicles at the end near Christ Church. The other proposal would see the area pedestrianised.

Wendy Benson, community economic development manager from Durham County Council, said a report from Fairhurst was expected at the end of March.

They would then carry out further consultation before applications for funding were made and plans were submitted for scrutiny. The process could be carried out in phases over several years

Ms Benson said: “This is only a concept. It is a huge project and will take a few years to deliver.

“We really want to do something with Middle Street to encourage people to use it in different ways and use it more.”

Councillor Owen Temple attended a second consultation event at the Consett Library on Tuesday evening where the plans were on display.

He said: “I prefer the option that would have people wandering through the town rather than taking a straight linear route because if we are to make anything of this town it is to become a destination where people want to spend a bit of time rather than hurry through.

“We need to make Consett vibrant and attractive in the long term.”