PUBLIC views are being sought over the proposed revamp of a 1960s-built town centre shopping precinct.

St John's Square, in Seaham, was developed as a modern shopping extension to the town centre, but is now well past its best, vandalised, graffiti-ridden and a focal point for anti-social behaviour.

A comprehensive overhaul has been proposed, with project partners including Seaham Town Council, Easington District Council and Durham County Council.

They hope to oversee and major transformation of St John's Square and are staging an exhibition about its future potential, to be held in the town council offices, on Monday.

Staff from the county, district and town councils will be in attendance to discuss ideas for the development and to answer visitors' questions.

Councillor Dan Myers, who chairs the multi-body Seaham Regeneration Panel, said the aim of the plan being devised is to look at each facet of the square.

"We will look at all the buildings that could be developed or retained in the square, as well as the public spaces around them.

"St John's Square contains a bus station, health centre, library, public house, county council offices, pop-in centre for older people, and JobCentre.

"A new JobCentre is being built and it is hoped the development of the rest of the buildings can begin in 2006.

"Most of the existing users are likely to remain in the square in new, or refurbished buildings, if sufficient funding is available, while potential new uses could include offices, cafes or houses."

He added: "The square is in major need of restoration as part of the massive transformation taking place in Seaham.

"Now, we are asking local people to give their views about what they would like to see happen in the square and help to shape its future."

The exhibition is open to the public between 2pm and 8pm on Monday.