A small shopping area is now benefiting from a stylish new look.

Work on improving the Spa Road shops in Witham has now been completed and a new courtyard has been officially opened by members of Braintree Council.

The revitalised area now has excellent lighting, a more inviting courtyard and 21 extra, and more generously-sized, parking spaces.

The bland, concrete bollards which previously dominated the space, have now been replaced with trees locally sourced from Acers and Gleditsia.

A more convenient parking area has also been introduced outside the procession of shops situated on Spa Road.

Passing trade for the likes of The Co-op, Boots, Spa Fish and Chips, 2nd Time Around, Witham Barber and Abbronzatura Tanning and Nails, is now expected to increase.

Cllr Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Place at Braintree District Council said: “This area was in need of some love and attention and I am thrilled with the results. The whole area looks much more inviting and it is now a place residents and businesses can feel proud of.”

In a bid to reflect the improvements wanted by nearby residents, the Braintree District Council held two formal consultations with members of the community.

Parking, visual appearance and the feeling of safety were prioritised.

Speaking about the project, Diane Foley, Head of Neighbourhoods at Greenfields, suggested she would like to see more locals pushing for changes in the community.

She said: “This project is a fantastic way to improve the lives of people living in the area and we’re so pleased to be part of it. We urge any of our residents to contact us with suggested improvements to their own communities.”