Ely goes for an 'all things bright and beautiful' look

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over - Credit: Nicky Still

Council officials have given an assurance that no bats will be disturbed during the long-anticipated revamp of Steeple Row, Ely.  

“Surveys have been carried out to ensure no bats or trees are harmed during the process or affected by the up lighting of the trees,” said an East Cambs Council spokesperson.  

Lights are only one aspect of the work involved in a makeover which will see the area transformed with a refreshed walkway and seating area. 

The work begins on April 19.  

The district council has drawn up an improvement scheme in conjunction with the county council although the funding is mainly from a Combined Authority grant.  

It will include lighting up the mature lime trees which line the walkway to make the area safer in the evening, refurbishing the existing uneven York stone pathway and adding new seating areas. 

Businesses that use the area will also be encouraged to store unsightly commercial wheelie bins in a bin store, which is also being improved with new doors and lighting. 

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over - Credit: Nicky Still

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Councillor Julia Huffer, chair of the operational services committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Since the start of the Covid pandemic, outdoor dining has become increasingly popular, with three businesses now using the area for this purpose. 

“Historically the pathway has been used by businesses to store their commercial wheelie bins. 

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over - Credit: Nicky Still

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over - Credit: Nicky Still

“However, we hope the new improvements to the area, combined with an upgrade to the existing bin store, will transform it into a pleasant place for residents and visitors to enjoy.” 

To ensure the project is as environmentally friendly as possible, all of the original pavers will be lifted and cleaned, and as many as possible will be reused.  

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over

Steeple Row, Ely, getting a make-over - Credit: Nicky Still

A new section of pavers will be laid around the arched Sacrist’s Gate area, leading to the High Street. 

The existing streetlights will be repainted and new benches and bins will be installed, along with new solar lighting within the bin store. 

The works are scheduled for eight weeks, during which time the footpath will be closed with limited or no access. 

The poorly lit area has been a source of continued concern for many organisations including City of Ely Council, the Ely Society and Ely Perspective.