WORK to revamp the Kings Walk shopping arcade in Winchester city centre has come to an end.

Four trees have been put in place in recent days in the courtyard to make it more attractive to shoppers and passers-by. Seating has been installed yesterday.

As previously reported, the city council has spent £385,000 to make the area more attractive.

The upgrade includes integrating the Nutshell Theatre with the Kings Walk Arcade, improving the appearance of the façade and entrance along Silver Hill and enhancing existing open spaces. Lighting has been improved, and the exterior has been painted, with a new illuminated sign above the main entrance to the arcade.

The scheme was agreed last year, with the work starting in June.

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The refurbishment has mostly been welcomed by the businesses in Kings Walk.

Hampshire Chronicle: The interior courtyard of Kings WalkThe interior courtyard of Kings Walk (Image: Newsquest)The owner of Design Junction, Jakob Davies, said that he and his business partner Amy Murphy approve of the changes.

He said: “I am very happy with it.

“I am one of the people who think it is a really good thing. The only thing I have had a problem with was the lights but now it’s in I’m quite happy. But I’m super stoked. I love it – I haven’t got a bad word to say about it.”

Tracy Vincent, of Polka Dot Piercing, called the refurbishment “nice”, but added that it “hasn’t really made a difference” to customer numbers.

She continued: “I don’t think there’s enough lighting, I think it’s still quite dark. I don’t know if they are still working on that, and the chairs only went in today, so we’ll see how that works.”

Murat Neguzel, of Winchester Tailoring, said that he thought the refurbishment is “good”.

He continued: “It is nice that the council has made something – it’s better than nothing.

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“It might cause an increase in customers, which is important.”

Hampshire Chronicle: The revamp has also seen the exterior of the arcade paintedThe revamp has also seen the exterior of the arcade painted (Image: Newsquest)Barbara Cooper, of the Sunflower Emporium, was more critical of the refurbishment. While she thought that the new plants looked nice, she expressed concerns that they might die during the winter months.

She was also worried about the new chairs left in the main courtyard of the arcade. She said: “The thing that I asked was that they didn’t put chairs in and seating, and what have they done today? They’ve put a load of seating in.

“And it’s early days, because it’s only the first day, but I’m hoping it’s not going to encourage loads of youths to come down here and move all the chairs in a big huddle.”

In the long-term the future of Kings Walk is unclear. The 1970s structure is in the heart of the Silver Hill area, also known as the Central Winchester Regeneration area. It could be demolished as part of that redevelopment.